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NYT Exaggerates "Trump Effect" on Foreign College Recruitment by an Order of Magnitude
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From the New York Times, a widely cited figure:

Amid ‘Trump Effect’ Fear, 40% of Colleges See Dip in Foreign Applicants
By STEPHANIE SAUL MARCH 16, 2017

… Nearly 40 percent of colleges are reporting overall declines in applications from international students, according to a survey of 250 college and universities, released this week by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

But at MarginalRevolution.com, commenter GoldenEra went and looked up the original, which reads:

Key findings of the survey include:

- 39% of responding institutions reported a decline in international applications, 35% reported an increase, and 26% reported no change in applicant numbers.

Which is different by an order of magnitude than the implication of headline. Instead of 40% of colleges, the net is 39% – 35% = 4%, which is an order of magnitude smaller.

 
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  1. That is deliberately deceptive reporting. The hard-won reputation of the New York Times for honest reporting is disappearing fast.

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    It is completely "honest reporting" in the sense that none of the facts are wrong. Biased presentation, certainly.

    More disturbing to me is the fact that these are meaningless numbers. "40% of colleges" means nothing without more context. If foreign applicants have decided that only top tier US schools are worth the outrageous tuition fees, and stop applying to lower tier schools that would produce a very similar result. If I tell you, based on the article, that applications to Portland State are down, but applications to increasingly competitive Northeastern University are up, are you going to blame Trump?
    , @Jack D
    Oh, I think that ship sailed some time ago. Newspapers today feel that in order to stay in business they have to give their readership what they want. The readership of the NY Times is mostly liberal (Hillary won over Trump 9 to 1 in Manhattan) so what they want is anti-Trump spin. If the NYTimes tries to publish an article that is somewhat balanced they get treated like that professor who was with Charles Murray - the readership says "if you are not with us then your are against us". Remaining neutral is perceived as being pro-Trump. How can you remain neutral in the face of Trump-Hitler? "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
    , @FredAG
    hard-won reputation of the New York Times for honest reporting

    I hope that's sarcasm.
    , @Carbon blob
    It annoys me when people think the point of clickbait headlines is to entice people to read a story that doesn't live up to the headline. No, the point of a clickbait headline is for the headline to go viral without anyone actually clicking on the full piece.
  2. Another thing that is misleading is that the eyes skim the headline and see “40%” and “dip” and “in foreign applicants” and the brain can process that as a 40% decline in foreign applicants.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Opi, From the weekend...."Pittsburgh starting third baseman, Kang, denied visa to enter USA." Makes it seem that the USA is denying a deserving Korean a chance to work a job that Americans won't do, play the hot corner. Kang however is a habitable drunken driver, recording his third DUI in the last few months. America has enough drunk drivers of our own, sadly a job Americans do take.
    , @res
    Especially since that would arguably be the correct metric to use (total foreign applicants).
  3. I notice that headlines like these are perhaps craftily designed also to take advantage of innumeracy.

    An inattentive or innumerate reader could easily misread the headline as “Colleges See a 40% in Foreign Applicants.”

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    Consider an alternate explanation that might cast a more favorable light on the NYT. That its reporters and editors are inattentive and innumerate.
  4. Correction:

    An inattentive or innumerate reader could easily misread the headline as “Colleges See a 40% Dip in Foreign Applicants.”

    • Replies: @Hugh
    Agreed. The article is fake news.

    Conspicuously missing is the overall number of applicants vs. same time last year.

    Instead we get a whole series of cherry picked percentages that merely confuse.
  5. @PiltdownMan
    Correction:

    An inattentive or innumerate reader could easily misread the headline as “Colleges See a 40% Dip in Foreign Applicants.”

    Agreed. The article is fake news.

    Conspicuously missing is the overall number of applicants vs. same time last year.

    Instead we get a whole series of cherry picked percentages that merely confuse.

  6. Amid ‘Trump Effect’ Fear, 40% of Colleges See Dip in Foreign Applicants

    “Great news!!”
    - every Deplorable

  7. The headline is correct, in that 40% (or well, 39%) of colleges (which responded to a survey) reported a decrease in foreign applicants.

    That being said, it’s ludicrous to assume this has anything to do with Trump; most students—and especially foreign students—decide to apply to universities months way before Trump was elected, usually during the summer, and definitely before he took office. Since Hillary was the projected winner since, well, the primaries, I don’t see how Trump could exert any causal effect on foreign students applying to U.S. institutions.

    Now, yes, there is a 4% decrease overall, but there’s most likely other factors driving that. It’s easier and more politically convenient to blame Trump, though.

  8. The original document has the same bias as the article – showing lots of fluctuations, but primarily putting the decreases into words. So perhaps the Times was more duped than devious in this case.

    How many individuals applied overall, last year and this year? Focusing on the counts of institutions seeing increases or decreases, as both survey and article do, allows for all sorts of spurious effects to creep into the conclusions. Perhaps the institutions are only willing to disclose directional figures, and the survey wouldn’t be able to de-dupe individuals applying to multiple schools. But these are the kinds of questions numerate journalists ought to be asking.

  9. “40% more college slots available for American kids”

  10. Aha! Demon math, again.

  11. Even if it were true, this is a bad thing . . . How?

    Looking at my own state of Georgia, we already have a shortage of good public universities – only two in our state (Georgia Tech and UGA) have national reputations – the same number as much smaller states such as Iowa and Oregon. Georgia Tech in particular is outstanding- one of the top five engineering schools in the country and the highest average SAT scores of any public university. Yet it’s a relatively small school for a public one – only about 12k undergrads. The kicker is that 22% of the student body (which admittedly includes grad students) is foreign. In state students are around 55 percent. Given that there are only 3k total spots for freshman, less than 2/3rds of which are reserved for in-state students (in what is the 8th most populous state in the US), competition is ridiculously fierce to get in.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    Georgia does better than New York, which has zero public universities with national reputations.
    , @Bleuteaux
    By way of contrast, here in the Midwest, Wisconsin has 13 four year public schools, 13 two year public schools, and an onslaught of technical schools. It's ridiculous. Neighboring Illinois has, I think, but 13 public schools with way more population. Iowa has a whopping 3 four year public universities.
    , @Larry, San Francisco
    My daughter is going through the process. She had nearly a 1500 SAT score and a 4.1 GPA. She wanted to go into engineering and was rejected at all the U of California schools (except the weakest coastal one) and USC. Why should our schools educate people from China and other countries when we have plenty of qualified students here. I know diversity is important since allowing the Chinese students at an American university to request the Dalai Lama not speak since it would be hurtful to them is a great thing for the US.
  12. @PiltdownMan
    I notice that headlines like these are perhaps craftily designed also to take advantage of innumeracy.

    An inattentive or innumerate reader could easily misread the headline as "Colleges See a 40% in Foreign Applicants."

    Consider an alternate explanation that might cast a more favorable light on the NYT. That its reporters and editors are inattentive and innumerate.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    They've been getting the benefit of the doubt for quite a while now. I wonder about the sinister motive because the innumeracy and inattentiveness never seem to go the other way.
  13. The NYT writer STEPHANIE SAUL can be contacted at [email protected]

    or Twitter @stefsaul

    • Replies: @MW
    Her Twitter bio is "born skeptic."

    Funny how about a dozen commenters on here all saw the same obvious flaws in the source press release, while born skeptic thought "ooooooh Trump bashing!"
    , @Pericles
    Better call Saul.
    , @Seth Largo
    Any idea how to find out who her editor is?
  14. Amid ‘Trump Effect’ Fear, 40% of Colleges See Dip in Foreign Applicants

    And why should I consider this a problem?

  15. @Opinionator
    Another thing that is misleading is that the eyes skim the headline and see "40%" and "dip" and "in foreign applicants" and the brain can process that as a 40% decline in foreign applicants.

    Opi, From the weekend….”Pittsburgh starting third baseman, Kang, denied visa to enter USA.” Makes it seem that the USA is denying a deserving Korean a chance to work a job that Americans won’t do, play the hot corner. Kang however is a habitable drunken driver, recording his third DUI in the last few months. America has enough drunk drivers of our own, sadly a job Americans do take.

  16. @Peter Johnson
    That is deliberately deceptive reporting. The hard-won reputation of the New York Times for honest reporting is disappearing fast.

    It is completely “honest reporting” in the sense that none of the facts are wrong. Biased presentation, certainly.

    More disturbing to me is the fact that these are meaningless numbers. “40% of colleges” means nothing without more context. If foreign applicants have decided that only top tier US schools are worth the outrageous tuition fees, and stop applying to lower tier schools that would produce a very similar result. If I tell you, based on the article, that applications to Portland State are down, but applications to increasingly competitive Northeastern University are up, are you going to blame Trump?

  17. It’s normal to have some fluctuation in any given time period for anything being measured, so another important question would be by “By how much did applications from foreign students dip and how much did they increase?”

  18. Same fake news appeared earlier at Inside Higher Education (March 13 versus March 16 at NYT).

    Will International Students Stay Away? Four in 10 colleges are seeing drops in applications from international students amid pervasive concerns that the political climate might keep them away. By Elizabeth Redden March 13, 2017

    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/03/13/nearly-4-10-universities-report-drops-international-student-applications

    But there the third paragraph shows that the headline is bullshit:

    “Thirty-nine percent of institutions responding to the survey reported a decline in their total number of international applications across both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Another 35 percent reported an increase, and 26 percent reported no change.”

  19. 35% reported an increase

    C’mon, Steve, you jumped the gun. Give the NYT a little room.

    They’re just putting the finishing touches on a story about the Trump Effect resulting in a 35% increase in international applications to US colleges from Euro neo-Nazis and Russian hookers.

  20. I blame the decline of quality of thought in our institutions on the scandalous fact that 50% of our nation’s schools have fallen below average in student performance.

    I have a vague recollection that a politician or interest actually used that fact as a justification for increasing educational spending. Maybe someone here can verify if that was actually said and if so, who said it.

  21. The headline is correct. It’s the deliberate withholding of the number with increases that’s troubling.

  22. I’ve said this before but every time foreign students are mentioned this question comes to mind:

    Why are there foreign students…AT ALL?

    Great universities are a national treasure that in a sane world would be jealously guarded to give their own people an edge. What’s the point of training foreigners to compete with you?

    This only applies to the actual sciences, of course. It doesn’t matter how many chinamen study feminist literature, because it wouldn’t make a difference. But then they don’t, because they know that.

    Another reason why “write about your feelings” science that exists to enable women to excel in something has to go. It stops people from thinking about education in terms of value and advantage and possibly connect that to the fate of the country as a whole.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    The Derb said in one of his podcasts that there are 320,00o foreign students in the US. How does this benefit Americans?
    , @guest
    For one thing, we, or rather our elite, want U.S.-educated foreigners to run those parts of the world we don't rule directly. It's staggering, the number of people in power or positions of influence around the globe who went to Harvard/Oxford/whatever.
  23. “I blame the decline of quality of thought in our institutions on the scandalous fact that 50% of our nation’s schools have fallen below average in student performance.”

    I blame the decline of quality of thought in our institutions on the scandalous fact that people can’t tell the difference between average and median…………

  24. The irony is that if the headline were true, it would actually be good news.

    • Replies: @MW
    If foreigners want to overpay for an American undergrad degree and then go home, I'm not going to complain. But the way we have invited foreigners to dominate graduate programs in the most important disciplines ... aphorisms about eating seed corn come to mind.
  25. Trump Effect in play in the NYT where foreign college applicants are down , the Seattle Times where homelessness is up, the Sacramento Bee where California’s infrastructure is crumbling, the Chicago Tribune, where hundreds of well educated immigrants can’t find jobs to match their skills and the Buffalo News, where the Bills are up against the NFL salary cap and stuck with Tyrod Taylor. Actually, the Bills’ problem may be Bush’s fault. Oh, and by the way, Trump has been in office three months, but the MSM wore blinders for the past eight years.

  26. @Opinionator
    Another thing that is misleading is that the eyes skim the headline and see "40%" and "dip" and "in foreign applicants" and the brain can process that as a 40% decline in foreign applicants.

    Especially since that would arguably be the correct metric to use (total foreign applicants).

  27. Abe says: • Website

    “The average variance in number of foreign student applicants is greater AMONG institutions which reported a decline this year than it is BETWEEN institutions which reported a decline and those which reported an increase. Also, a foreign student is more likely to die in their bathtub on the anniversary of Paul Walker’s crash than they are to be denied acceptance to an American college due to the ‘Trump Effect’, even controlling for such factors as taboos against bathing, or weird lunar calendars where Paul Walker’s crash does not appear every year. So there!”

  28. A few days ago the Washington Post had an article with a headline ‘Pro-Trump March Ends With Man Getting Beaten With “Make America Great Again” sign.’

    That was the headline. The actual article was forced to note that the man, who was wearing a mask, was “beaten” (he didn’t come close to needing hospital treatment) because he had pepper sprayed some of the Trump supporters.

  29. I took a look at the PDF and it looks to me like much of the bias is in the text there. Then the NYT went and removed the elements of balanced reporting that were still present, as in Steve’s example.

    Figures 1 and 2 look like the way to best understand the situation. To my eye there was a clear negative impact on applications from the Middle East. The other regions look neutral to increasing to me.

    I found the caption wording interesting for N/A: “We do not recruit from this region.” Just how hard do US colleges work to recruit internationally? And how does that effort compare to efforts in non-local (especially overall underrepresented) areas of the US?

    What exactly was the timing of this admissions cycle? For example, what were the application deadlines? Remember that everyone was certain Hillary would win. How much of an impact should Trump have had pre-election?

    This seems worth a followup when the full report is released:

    A complete and final report will be available by March 30, 2017 after a full review of the data. The report will include more elements of the survey and comments from the participating organizations.

    I am particularly interested in what the changes in total applications (overall and per region) were. Even better would be having some historical information to put the changes in context.

    P.S. Check out last month’s WSJ article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/international-students-continue-to-apply-to-u-s-colleges-1485981117

    Foreign-student applications to major U.S. colleges for the next academic year are stable or even rising, alleviating some fears that international students wouldn’t continue to seek admission to the country’s schools in the wake of the election of President Donald Trump.

    This WSJ survey looks interesting for numbers geeks: http://graphics.wsj.com/international-students/
    Among other interesting graphics there is one that shows the change in % international between 2000 and 2014 for 253 colleges.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    A second-order result from that WSJ survey:

    The following eight Universities account for about 1/10 of the foreign students in the US:

    New York University
    University of Southern California
    Columbia University
    Arizona State
    University of Illinois
    Northeastern University
    Purdue
    UCLA

    So with eight phone calls from the Oval Office of

    "Why the f**k are you spending our money to help 10000 foreigners displace our citizens you traitorous recipient of millions of federal dollars p***y?!?! From this moment on, each new foreign enrollment costs you one million federal dollars!"

    A tenth of the problem is solved that afternoon.

    With the chicken dead to scare the monkeys, the rest of the problem melts away by the next academic year.

    Total TrumpTime invested: about an hour.

  30. @Almost Missouri
    The irony is that if the headline were true, it would actually be good news.

    If foreigners want to overpay for an American undergrad degree and then go home, I’m not going to complain. But the way we have invited foreigners to dominate graduate programs in the most important disciplines … aphorisms about eating seed corn come to mind.

    • Agree: Opinionator
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri

    "If foreigners want to overpay for an American undergrad degree and then go home, I’m not going to complain."
     
    I wish I could agree, but adding capital--of any provenance--to hives of SJW disease hardly helps the nation.

    The Academy is another Beast that needs to be starved, for its own good as well as ours.
  31. If there was a real decline in the # of foreign students matriculating, especially grad students, that would be great news, but I doubt that’s really true. Arab countries are not really big sources of academic talent (that would be Asia, Asia, Asia nowadays) so even if they all stayed home it would hardly be noticeable. Pakistan and Iran contribute modestly but they would not leave a big hole.

    For decades now, American universities have used foreign grad students as cheap labor. Going back to the ’70s I remember having totally incomprehensible Chinese math teaching assistants (their Engrish was incomprehensible, not the math) who were from Taiwan in those days. We keep talking about a shortage of STEM talent but in reality there is a glut – in large part due to the large supply of foreigners, Americans with PhDs have slim chances of ever getting tenure track positions – instead they linger on as underpaid post-docs and adjuncts with no job security. And American industry has mostly stopped hiring PhDs to do basic research – there is no more Bell Labs, IBM does mostly consulting nowadays, etc.

    Then, as the article mentions, these students stay on as H1Bs and take even more jobs away from Americans after they graduate. Or else they take their American training home and compete against US industry. The whole Taiwanese electronic sector (which put the last nail in the coffin of many parts of the US electronics industry) was started by people with US PhDs. How is any of this in America’s interest? It might be in the narrow interest of universities that get full tuition paying undergrads and cheap labor from foreign grad students, but how is any of this in the American national interest?

    • Agree: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @CJ
    Yes, this is Fake News.

    But in this case, it's too bad it isn't true.

    , @Forbes

    How is any of this in America’s interest? It might be in the narrow interest of universities that get full tuition paying undergrads and cheap labor from foreign grad students, but how is any of this in the American national interest?
     
    Exactly. Since the US taxpayer funds (Nat'l Academy of Sciences, etc.) so much university-based science research, foreign students take slots that would otherwise be available to US students.
    , @Opinionator

    If there was a real decline in the # of foreign students matriculating, especially grad students, that would be great news, but I doubt that’s really true.
     
    What reasons do you see for that's being great news? I tend to agree but am interested in your perspective.
  32. @Peter Johnson
    That is deliberately deceptive reporting. The hard-won reputation of the New York Times for honest reporting is disappearing fast.

    Oh, I think that ship sailed some time ago. Newspapers today feel that in order to stay in business they have to give their readership what they want. The readership of the NY Times is mostly liberal (Hillary won over Trump 9 to 1 in Manhattan) so what they want is anti-Trump spin. If the NYTimes tries to publish an article that is somewhat balanced they get treated like that professor who was with Charles Murray – the readership says “if you are not with us then your are against us”. Remaining neutral is perceived as being pro-Trump. How can you remain neutral in the face of Trump-Hitler? “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

  33. The byline is STEPHANIE SAUL MARCH. Does the inclusion of her middle name constitute virtue-signalling?

    • Replies: @Forbes
    You might want to take a second look...
    , @Glaivester
    It indicates she doesn't want people to think she is the former ADA in charge of sex crimes in Dick Wolf's New York.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0545335/reference
  34. @kihowi
    I've said this before but every time foreign students are mentioned this question comes to mind:

    Why are there foreign students...AT ALL?

    Great universities are a national treasure that in a sane world would be jealously guarded to give their own people an edge. What's the point of training foreigners to compete with you?

    This only applies to the actual sciences, of course. It doesn't matter how many chinamen study feminist literature, because it wouldn't make a difference. But then they don't, because they know that.

    Another reason why "write about your feelings" science that exists to enable women to excel in something has to go. It stops people from thinking about education in terms of value and advantage and possibly connect that to the fate of the country as a whole.

    The Derb said in one of his podcasts that there are 320,00o foreign students in the US. How does this benefit Americans?

    • Replies: @JerryC
    I would guess that having a lot of foreign college students is another one of those Cold War era practices designed to get foreign elites on our side that has long since outlived its usefulness.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Jim, some of the foreign students are Canadians, so schools in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Erie, Pa. have our northern neighbors attending classes. I consider Canadians to be slightly above Californians in fringe status.
  35. Who cares even if there are 4% fewer foreign college applicants?

    The big problem is the hordes of rich Chinese buying green cards for a song. To get a green card and then citizenship for your whole family (EB-5 -> Green Card -> Passport) all you have to do is loan $500,000 to an American real-estate (or other business) project for seven years. None of the money goes to the American government or taxpayer. Since the money is a loan, it all comes back to you (the foreigner) in a few years. The only actual cost to you is the lower interest rate you get on that money than in you might get if you put it into a bank CD, but since bank CD’s are only paying 1% nowadays (thanks to Obamanomics and the Federal Reserve’s ZIRP), getting screwed on interest for a few years doesn’t bite at all.

    • Agree: Lot
    • Replies: @cynthia curran
    How true, the e-b5 effective college enrollments and now they are sending their kids to school in the US in grade school with a nanny at home to looked after the kid.
    , @Bleuteaux
    They have a big project on the Mississippi River in Muscatine, Iowa along these lines, a new "hotel." I haven't seen a single news story about the real reason some random person or group of people from China are spending money in a methed out hell hole of a town like Muscatine.

    I was pleased that on a stop through their town one day, the black female owner of a local coffee shop groaned about the project, "It's like America isn't even for Americans anymore."
  36. @Jack D
    If there was a real decline in the # of foreign students matriculating, especially grad students, that would be great news, but I doubt that's really true. Arab countries are not really big sources of academic talent (that would be Asia, Asia, Asia nowadays) so even if they all stayed home it would hardly be noticeable. Pakistan and Iran contribute modestly but they would not leave a big hole.

    For decades now, American universities have used foreign grad students as cheap labor. Going back to the '70s I remember having totally incomprehensible Chinese math teaching assistants (their Engrish was incomprehensible, not the math) who were from Taiwan in those days. We keep talking about a shortage of STEM talent but in reality there is a glut - in large part due to the large supply of foreigners, Americans with PhDs have slim chances of ever getting tenure track positions - instead they linger on as underpaid post-docs and adjuncts with no job security. And American industry has mostly stopped hiring PhDs to do basic research - there is no more Bell Labs, IBM does mostly consulting nowadays, etc.

    Then, as the article mentions, these students stay on as H1Bs and take even more jobs away from Americans after they graduate. Or else they take their American training home and compete against US industry. The whole Taiwanese electronic sector (which put the last nail in the coffin of many parts of the US electronics industry) was started by people with US PhDs. How is any of this in America's interest? It might be in the narrow interest of universities that get full tuition paying undergrads and cheap labor from foreign grad students, but how is any of this in the American national interest?

    Yes, this is Fake News.

    But in this case, it’s too bad it isn’t true.

  37. @jill
    The NYT writer STEPHANIE SAUL can be contacted at [email protected]

    or Twitter @stefsaul

    Her Twitter bio is “born skeptic.”

    Funny how about a dozen commenters on here all saw the same obvious flaws in the source press release, while born skeptic thought “ooooooh Trump bashing!”

  38. @jill
    The NYT writer STEPHANIE SAUL can be contacted at [email protected]

    or Twitter @stefsaul

    Better call Saul.

  39. Which is different by an order of magnitude than the implication of headline.

    How about the alternative headline “The ‘Trump Effect’ Decimates Foreign Student Applications to US Colleges” for a closer approximation. Anyway, the timeline doesn’t make sense. The applications were in the pipeline well before Trump was elected.

  40. Slightly O/T: Many years ago the local cable news channel (NY1) ran a consumer reporter investigative story exposing how hand-packed pints of ice cream at some local retail vendors didn’t weigh 16 ounces. A scandalous rip-off, as the story was told!

    Garden variety media innumeracy. Were that story reported today, the NYT would deem it Trump’s fault.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Forbes, actually the ice cream containers would only weigh less in bodegas and hood corner stores. In the burbs they would weigh more, white privilege dontcha know.
    , @Jack D
    Actually 16 fluid ounces OF WATER weighs slightly MORE than 1 lb. However, ice cream (even when machine packed) contains a certain amount of air whipped into it so that a pint of ice cream (pint is a volume measurement) might not weigh 1 lb.

    BTW, store bought Haagen Dazs ice cream now comes in a 14 fl. oz. container so you don't even get a pint by volume anymore.
    , @donut
    Back in the 90's when I lived in Brooklyn I would watch NY1 every morning for the weather . Before I realized I could just look out my window . The morning anchor was

    http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/on-air/2015/03/13/roma-torre.html

    I thought she was hot . I see she is still with them . Good for her .

    I paid $800 a month for a third floor apt. at 6th street and 6th Ave. Park Slope was lesbian central back then . My landlord was the chef for an evil press baron that I won't name . The evil press baron did not eat left overs subsequently at least twice a week I ate as well as one of the richest men in the world . Now I cook for myself getting recipes from online and I still eat well . I worked for the VNS back then . One of my first pts. was an elderly lady , Lou Lou her friends called her . She lived alone at 99 but she eventually needed help even though she was A+O x 3 . She was as thin as a bird , honest to God she could perch on your finger . I would go in for a visit and ask her "did you eat today Ms. S... " , the little darling would look at the clock and if it was after lunch she would say "yes" . Her friend who used to come by to look in on her at least once a week and pay her bills told me that up until the early 90's Lou Lou would go to Fl. every year . Once her friend offered to help her carry her bags to the train . Lou Lou said she had no bags . She would put on three pairs of undies , three shirts and three pairs of shorts and place her toiletries in her bag and take the train south . I asked her once "Louise , did you ever have a boy friend or anything ?" She said "I was engaged once , but I can't remember his name."
  41. @Jack D
    If there was a real decline in the # of foreign students matriculating, especially grad students, that would be great news, but I doubt that's really true. Arab countries are not really big sources of academic talent (that would be Asia, Asia, Asia nowadays) so even if they all stayed home it would hardly be noticeable. Pakistan and Iran contribute modestly but they would not leave a big hole.

    For decades now, American universities have used foreign grad students as cheap labor. Going back to the '70s I remember having totally incomprehensible Chinese math teaching assistants (their Engrish was incomprehensible, not the math) who were from Taiwan in those days. We keep talking about a shortage of STEM talent but in reality there is a glut - in large part due to the large supply of foreigners, Americans with PhDs have slim chances of ever getting tenure track positions - instead they linger on as underpaid post-docs and adjuncts with no job security. And American industry has mostly stopped hiring PhDs to do basic research - there is no more Bell Labs, IBM does mostly consulting nowadays, etc.

    Then, as the article mentions, these students stay on as H1Bs and take even more jobs away from Americans after they graduate. Or else they take their American training home and compete against US industry. The whole Taiwanese electronic sector (which put the last nail in the coffin of many parts of the US electronics industry) was started by people with US PhDs. How is any of this in America's interest? It might be in the narrow interest of universities that get full tuition paying undergrads and cheap labor from foreign grad students, but how is any of this in the American national interest?

    How is any of this in America’s interest? It might be in the narrow interest of universities that get full tuition paying undergrads and cheap labor from foreign grad students, but how is any of this in the American national interest?

    Exactly. Since the US taxpayer funds (Nat’l Academy of Sciences, etc.) so much university-based science research, foreign students take slots that would otherwise be available to US students.

  42. @Rex
    The byline is STEPHANIE SAUL MARCH. Does the inclusion of her middle name constitute virtue-signalling?

    You might want to take a second look…

    • Replies: @Jack D
    This woman is so shady that she changes her last name every 30 days. I have it on good information that 5 days from now she is going to do it AGAIN. Shameful.
    , @Rex
    Cunning these people, hiding in plain calendars.
  43. What makes me sad is that today’s college students will be robbed of the enrichment of diverse personal hygiene customs.

    Why, back when I was in college, there were lots of “international” students, actually Iranians, who rarely took baths.

    Why deny such cultural enrichment to young skulls full of mush? How will they compete in the global New World Order of manly body odor?

    Soap is such a White-European thing.

    /sarc

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Sarah, Add toilet paper to your list.
  44. Somewhat OT:

    http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/black-hills-afflicted-with-shortage-of-foreign-seasonal-workers/article_d38bde87-b10c-5205-8987-d9b940583236.html

    I have some familiarity with summer employment in the Black Hills. The tourist season runs from around Mother’s Day weekend to mid October. In the late 90s/early 2000s many businesses who had historically hired a lot of college students were trying a mix of foreign workers and semi retired couples who lived RVs or campers. The “camper couples” as they were called, would work in a northern National Park area in the summer and travel south for the winter. I don’t know if this has died off either due to a lower supply of couples or a push for cheaper, more pliable foreign labor from employers. The foreign workers I met were coming from Eastern Europe, it sounds like that has changed also. For the two examples in this article, I can see the Palmer Gulch having trouble finding local workers for menial jobs, but the grocery store in Hill City, shouldn’t have trouble finding local high school kids to work for the summer.

    • Replies: @27 year old
    I bet there's definitely a lower supply of camper couples. The kind of people who think motorhomes are a great idea are increasingly not able to afford motorhomes
  45. @Rex
    The byline is STEPHANIE SAUL MARCH. Does the inclusion of her middle name constitute virtue-signalling?

    It indicates she doesn’t want people to think she is the former ADA in charge of sex crimes in Dick Wolf’s New York.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0545335/reference

  46. @Hapalong Cassidy
    Even if it were true, this is a bad thing . . . How?

    Looking at my own state of Georgia, we already have a shortage of good public universities - only two in our state (Georgia Tech and UGA) have national reputations - the same number as much smaller states such as Iowa and Oregon. Georgia Tech in particular is outstanding- one of the top five engineering schools in the country and the highest average SAT scores of any public university. Yet it's a relatively small school for a public one - only about 12k undergrads. The kicker is that 22% of the student body (which admittedly includes grad students) is foreign. In state students are around 55 percent. Given that there are only 3k total spots for freshman, less than 2/3rds of which are reserved for in-state students (in what is the 8th most populous state in the US), competition is ridiculously fierce to get in.

    Georgia does better than New York, which has zero public universities with national reputations.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    prosa, back up a bit. SUNY Buffalo , Geneseeo and Stony Brook have stellar reputations.
  47. @kihowi
    I've said this before but every time foreign students are mentioned this question comes to mind:

    Why are there foreign students...AT ALL?

    Great universities are a national treasure that in a sane world would be jealously guarded to give their own people an edge. What's the point of training foreigners to compete with you?

    This only applies to the actual sciences, of course. It doesn't matter how many chinamen study feminist literature, because it wouldn't make a difference. But then they don't, because they know that.

    Another reason why "write about your feelings" science that exists to enable women to excel in something has to go. It stops people from thinking about education in terms of value and advantage and possibly connect that to the fate of the country as a whole.

    For one thing, we, or rather our elite, want U.S.-educated foreigners to run those parts of the world we don’t rule directly. It’s staggering, the number of people in power or positions of influence around the globe who went to Harvard/Oxford/whatever.

    • Replies: @peterike

    we, or rather our elite, want U.S.-educated foreigners to run those parts of the world we don’t rule directly. It’s staggering, the number of people in power or positions of influence around the globe who went to Harvard/Oxford/whatever.
     
    This is true. The problem, for the rest of us, is that these elites are programmed into being, well, globalist elites. They certainly aren't trained at Harvard to concern themselves with the white working and middle classes. Quite the opposite. And they get trained on bringing globo-homoism to the world, as well. That's taking a little longer to filter down, as it's relatively new even for us. But it likely will.

    And of course in the past few years our foreign elites in training are getting a massive dose of "get whitey" talk, white privilege and all that. Hey, what a great idea! Teach the elites of foreign countries that white extermination is the goal of all right-thinking people. I wonder if the "this is library!" guy has caught on?
    , @unpc downunder
    This is an issue that is rarely talked about on the alt right but is one of the key reasons why the US began shifting to free trade and open borders in the late 1960s.

    Instead of fighting communism militarily (too many body bags) the US decided to start fighting communism by allowing developing countries open access to the US market and allowing non-whites to work and study in the US and spread the word about how wonderful US-style laissez-faire capitalism is.

    Communism is long gone, and immigrants are a bigger threat than hostile foreign powers, but the powers that be are still using the same tactics to try and undermine nationalism.

  48. @Veracitor
    Who cares even if there are 4% fewer foreign college applicants?

    The big problem is the hordes of rich Chinese buying green cards for a song. To get a green card and then citizenship for your whole family (EB-5 -> Green Card -> Passport) all you have to do is loan $500,000 to an American real-estate (or other business) project for seven years. None of the money goes to the American government or taxpayer. Since the money is a loan, it all comes back to you (the foreigner) in a few years. The only actual cost to you is the lower interest rate you get on that money than in you might get if you put it into a bank CD, but since bank CD's are only paying 1% nowadays (thanks to Obamanomics and the Federal Reserve's ZIRP), getting screwed on interest for a few years doesn't bite at all.

    How true, the e-b5 effective college enrollments and now they are sending their kids to school in the US in grade school with a nanny at home to looked after the kid.

  49. A great example of just how staggering media bias is, but also an example of how they are able to get away with it.

    Technically, there’s no journalistic perjury in the headline (aside from fudging 39% up to 40%). It’s the omission that’s the whopper. And that’s one of the ways they do it.

    There are basically three ways the MSM slants the news: 1) Omission, e.g. just not reporting black-on-white crime, or not blowing it up to the degree it does alleged “racist” incidents; 2) Use of colorful adjectives, e.g. conservative politicians are “far right” with “controversial” and “extreme” ideas who appeal to “less educated” voters with “hot button issues,” and 3) the “raising questions” gambit, where there’s really no proof of anything going on “but this triple hearsay does ‘raise questions’” sufficient to generate a sensational headline. The best example of this is the left’s obsession with “Russia” somehow causing the defeat of their candidate of choice. They stared out using “hacking” in an attempt to imply Russia “hacked” into the voting machines to alter votes, and then dropped that in favor of “influenced” or meddled.” (See also strategy 2 use of colorful adjectives)

    There are, of course, egregious examples of fraud: Doctoring the Trayvon Martin 911 tapes, Dan Rather’s election eve “bombshell, garbling the description of the recent Chicago kidnapping and torture of the retarded white kid by a gang of blacks to make it sound like it was Trump supporters doing the torturing. But, by and large, they stick with strategies 1 through 3.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Patrick, Omission is a grievious fault. I see no MSM coverage of the white Cincinnati driver who accidently hit a 4 yr. old with his car and then was beaten and executed at the scene. Or, the white adjunct professor of art, who taught at Cleveland State U and John Carroll U, who was shot and killed while driving through Cleveland yesterday at 1:30PM. The prof., David Wilder, was caught in the crossfire of two cars full of thugs as they drove along firing away. A fifteen year old boy was also shot and killed, but hey, how much real mayhem can you cover. Oh, and 16 shot, with one dead, in a Cinci. night club shooting.
  50. @Jim Don Bob
    The Derb said in one of his podcasts that there are 320,00o foreign students in the US. How does this benefit Americans?

    I would guess that having a lot of foreign college students is another one of those Cold War era practices designed to get foreign elites on our side that has long since outlived its usefulness.

  51. @Hapalong Cassidy
    Even if it were true, this is a bad thing . . . How?

    Looking at my own state of Georgia, we already have a shortage of good public universities - only two in our state (Georgia Tech and UGA) have national reputations - the same number as much smaller states such as Iowa and Oregon. Georgia Tech in particular is outstanding- one of the top five engineering schools in the country and the highest average SAT scores of any public university. Yet it's a relatively small school for a public one - only about 12k undergrads. The kicker is that 22% of the student body (which admittedly includes grad students) is foreign. In state students are around 55 percent. Given that there are only 3k total spots for freshman, less than 2/3rds of which are reserved for in-state students (in what is the 8th most populous state in the US), competition is ridiculously fierce to get in.

    By way of contrast, here in the Midwest, Wisconsin has 13 four year public schools, 13 two year public schools, and an onslaught of technical schools. It’s ridiculous. Neighboring Illinois has, I think, but 13 public schools with way more population. Iowa has a whopping 3 four year public universities.

  52. How to write for the NYT:
    1) Pick narrative
    2) Find story
    3) Make story fit narrative

    • Agree: Buffalo Joe
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    Step 1) is actually "Accept NYT narrative."
  53. @Veracitor
    Who cares even if there are 4% fewer foreign college applicants?

    The big problem is the hordes of rich Chinese buying green cards for a song. To get a green card and then citizenship for your whole family (EB-5 -> Green Card -> Passport) all you have to do is loan $500,000 to an American real-estate (or other business) project for seven years. None of the money goes to the American government or taxpayer. Since the money is a loan, it all comes back to you (the foreigner) in a few years. The only actual cost to you is the lower interest rate you get on that money than in you might get if you put it into a bank CD, but since bank CD's are only paying 1% nowadays (thanks to Obamanomics and the Federal Reserve's ZIRP), getting screwed on interest for a few years doesn't bite at all.

    They have a big project on the Mississippi River in Muscatine, Iowa along these lines, a new “hotel.” I haven’t seen a single news story about the real reason some random person or group of people from China are spending money in a methed out hell hole of a town like Muscatine.

    I was pleased that on a stop through their town one day, the black female owner of a local coffee shop groaned about the project, “It’s like America isn’t even for Americans anymore.”

  54. Also depressing is that it invites to the reader to support the idea of large numbers of foreign students as an inherently good thing.

    Since more is clearly better than less then the logical end point is that 100% of college students should be foreign. Got a problem with that racists?

    Edit: I see that others have already touched on this.

  55. @guest
    For one thing, we, or rather our elite, want U.S.-educated foreigners to run those parts of the world we don't rule directly. It's staggering, the number of people in power or positions of influence around the globe who went to Harvard/Oxford/whatever.

    we, or rather our elite, want U.S.-educated foreigners to run those parts of the world we don’t rule directly. It’s staggering, the number of people in power or positions of influence around the globe who went to Harvard/Oxford/whatever.

    This is true. The problem, for the rest of us, is that these elites are programmed into being, well, globalist elites. They certainly aren’t trained at Harvard to concern themselves with the white working and middle classes. Quite the opposite. And they get trained on bringing globo-homoism to the world, as well. That’s taking a little longer to filter down, as it’s relatively new even for us. But it likely will.

    And of course in the past few years our foreign elites in training are getting a massive dose of “get whitey” talk, white privilege and all that. Hey, what a great idea! Teach the elites of foreign countries that white extermination is the goal of all right-thinking people. I wonder if the “this is library!” guy has caught on?

  56. @guest
    For one thing, we, or rather our elite, want U.S.-educated foreigners to run those parts of the world we don't rule directly. It's staggering, the number of people in power or positions of influence around the globe who went to Harvard/Oxford/whatever.

    This is an issue that is rarely talked about on the alt right but is one of the key reasons why the US began shifting to free trade and open borders in the late 1960s.

    Instead of fighting communism militarily (too many body bags) the US decided to start fighting communism by allowing developing countries open access to the US market and allowing non-whites to work and study in the US and spread the word about how wonderful US-style laissez-faire capitalism is.

    Communism is long gone, and immigrants are a bigger threat than hostile foreign powers, but the powers that be are still using the same tactics to try and undermine nationalism.

  57. @Forbes
    You might want to take a second look...

    This woman is so shady that she changes her last name every 30 days. I have it on good information that 5 days from now she is going to do it AGAIN. Shameful.

    • LOL: MW
  58. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Diversity leads to either Division or Dilution. Division leads to strife, Dilution leads to dissipation or even total loss of identity.

    Since when is division a form of strength? Since when is dilution a form of strength.

    Diluting something makes it stronger? Really? When whites mix with blacks, is whiteness strengthened in the mixed-race offspring? No, whiteness is lost and the child identifies as black. When whites mix with Meso-Americans, is whiteness strengthened in the mixed-race offspring? No, the kid will most likely identify as ‘brown’ or ‘Latino’(or ‘Latinx) and work against whites.

    It’s simple chemistry. When you dilute something, it becomes weaker and less potent, not stronger. Also, when something bonds with something else, it could well become subordinate or submissive to the other. Virtually child of black-and-white mixing leads to blackness and total eclipsing of whiteness.

  59. @Jim Don Bob
    The Derb said in one of his podcasts that there are 320,00o foreign students in the US. How does this benefit Americans?

    Jim, some of the foreign students are Canadians, so schools in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Erie, Pa. have our northern neighbors attending classes. I consider Canadians to be slightly above Californians in fringe status.

  60. @Forbes
    Slightly O/T: Many years ago the local cable news channel (NY1) ran a consumer reporter investigative story exposing how hand-packed pints of ice cream at some local retail vendors didn't weigh 16 ounces. A scandalous rip-off, as the story was told!

    Garden variety media innumeracy. Were that story reported today, the NYT would deem it Trump's fault.

    Forbes, actually the ice cream containers would only weigh less in bodegas and hood corner stores. In the burbs they would weigh more, white privilege dontcha know.

  61. @Sarah Toga
    What makes me sad is that today's college students will be robbed of the enrichment of diverse personal hygiene customs.

    Why, back when I was in college, there were lots of "international" students, actually Iranians, who rarely took baths.

    Why deny such cultural enrichment to young skulls full of mush? How will they compete in the global New World Order of manly body odor?

    Soap is such a White-European thing.

    /sarc

    Sarah, Add toilet paper to your list.

  62. @prosa123
    Georgia does better than New York, which has zero public universities with national reputations.

    prosa, back up a bit. SUNY Buffalo , Geneseeo and Stony Brook have stellar reputations.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Sorry Joe, but Prosa is right. If you look at world rankings of universities, the top rated American STATE university would be Berkeley (#10 in the Times of London rankings). Michigan , U Wash, Georgia Tech also rank in the top 40. But SUNY Binghamton (the highest rated NY State U) doesn't show up until the 350-400 group.

    Columbia ranks high, NYU ranks high, Cornell ranks high, but the NY State universities are just not in the big leagues. Back in the day, the top government run school in NY would have been City College but that was a long time ago in the Ellis Island era.

    NY has a unique history in that its designated "land grant college" was private Cornell rather than a state u. NY didn't even have a state U system until 1948. The U. Cal system with Berkeley as the crown jewel was established in 1868.
  63. @MW
    If foreigners want to overpay for an American undergrad degree and then go home, I'm not going to complain. But the way we have invited foreigners to dominate graduate programs in the most important disciplines ... aphorisms about eating seed corn come to mind.

    “If foreigners want to overpay for an American undergrad degree and then go home, I’m not going to complain.”

    I wish I could agree, but adding capital–of any provenance–to hives of SJW disease hardly helps the nation.

    The Academy is another Beast that needs to be starved, for its own good as well as ours.

    • Replies: @Thea
    At my local university there are currently three grievance positions open paying $40,900+each.

    It's not just universities, it's our judiciary, government bureaucracy, entertainment areas as well. It's difficult not to get fatalistic about the mamoth work to be done.

  64. @jill
    The NYT writer STEPHANIE SAUL can be contacted at [email protected]

    or Twitter @stefsaul

    Any idea how to find out who her editor is?

  65. @Forbes
    You might want to take a second look...

    Cunning these people, hiding in plain calendars.

  66. @Buffalo Joe
    prosa, back up a bit. SUNY Buffalo , Geneseeo and Stony Brook have stellar reputations.

    Sorry Joe, but Prosa is right. If you look at world rankings of universities, the top rated American STATE university would be Berkeley (#10 in the Times of London rankings). Michigan , U Wash, Georgia Tech also rank in the top 40. But SUNY Binghamton (the highest rated NY State U) doesn’t show up until the 350-400 group.

    Columbia ranks high, NYU ranks high, Cornell ranks high, but the NY State universities are just not in the big leagues. Back in the day, the top government run school in NY would have been City College but that was a long time ago in the Ellis Island era.

    NY has a unique history in that its designated “land grant college” was private Cornell rather than a state u. NY didn’t even have a state U system until 1948. The U. Cal system with Berkeley as the crown jewel was established in 1868.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Jack D, Sigh, that is sad.
  67. @Jim Don Bob
    How to write for the NYT:
    1) Pick narrative
    2) Find story
    3) Make story fit narrative

    Step 1) is actually “Accept NYT narrative.”

  68. @Forbes
    Slightly O/T: Many years ago the local cable news channel (NY1) ran a consumer reporter investigative story exposing how hand-packed pints of ice cream at some local retail vendors didn't weigh 16 ounces. A scandalous rip-off, as the story was told!

    Garden variety media innumeracy. Were that story reported today, the NYT would deem it Trump's fault.

    Actually 16 fluid ounces OF WATER weighs slightly MORE than 1 lb. However, ice cream (even when machine packed) contains a certain amount of air whipped into it so that a pint of ice cream (pint is a volume measurement) might not weigh 1 lb.

    BTW, store bought Haagen Dazs ice cream now comes in a 14 fl. oz. container so you don’t even get a pint by volume anymore.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    Jack, my reply above.
  69. @res
    I took a look at the PDF and it looks to me like much of the bias is in the text there. Then the NYT went and removed the elements of balanced reporting that were still present, as in Steve's example.

    Figures 1 and 2 look like the way to best understand the situation. To my eye there was a clear negative impact on applications from the Middle East. The other regions look neutral to increasing to me.

    I found the caption wording interesting for N/A: "We do not recruit from this region." Just how hard do US colleges work to recruit internationally? And how does that effort compare to efforts in non-local (especially overall underrepresented) areas of the US?

    What exactly was the timing of this admissions cycle? For example, what were the application deadlines? Remember that everyone was certain Hillary would win. How much of an impact should Trump have had pre-election?

    This seems worth a followup when the full report is released:

    A complete and final report will be available by March 30, 2017 after a full review of the data. The report will include more elements of the survey and comments from the participating organizations.
     
    I am particularly interested in what the changes in total applications (overall and per region) were. Even better would be having some historical information to put the changes in context.

    P.S. Check out last month's WSJ article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/international-students-continue-to-apply-to-u-s-colleges-1485981117

    Foreign-student applications to major U.S. colleges for the next academic year are stable or even rising, alleviating some fears that international students wouldn’t continue to seek admission to the country’s schools in the wake of the election of President Donald Trump.
     
    This WSJ survey looks interesting for numbers geeks: http://graphics.wsj.com/international-students/
    Among other interesting graphics there is one that shows the change in % international between 2000 and 2014 for 253 colleges.

    A second-order result from that WSJ survey:

    The following eight Universities account for about 1/10 of the foreign students in the US:

    New York University
    University of Southern California
    Columbia University
    Arizona State
    University of Illinois
    Northeastern University
    Purdue
    UCLA

    So with eight phone calls from the Oval Office of

    “Why the f**k are you spending our money to help 10000 foreigners displace our citizens you traitorous recipient of millions of federal dollars p***y?!?! From this moment on, each new foreign enrollment costs you one million federal dollars!”

    A tenth of the problem is solved that afternoon.

    With the chicken dead to scare the monkeys, the rest of the problem melts away by the next academic year.

    Total TrumpTime invested: about an hour.

  70. @Barnard
    Somewhat OT:

    http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/black-hills-afflicted-with-shortage-of-foreign-seasonal-workers/article_d38bde87-b10c-5205-8987-d9b940583236.html

    I have some familiarity with summer employment in the Black Hills. The tourist season runs from around Mother's Day weekend to mid October. In the late 90s/early 2000s many businesses who had historically hired a lot of college students were trying a mix of foreign workers and semi retired couples who lived RVs or campers. The "camper couples" as they were called, would work in a northern National Park area in the summer and travel south for the winter. I don't know if this has died off either due to a lower supply of couples or a push for cheaper, more pliable foreign labor from employers. The foreign workers I met were coming from Eastern Europe, it sounds like that has changed also. For the two examples in this article, I can see the Palmer Gulch having trouble finding local workers for menial jobs, but the grocery store in Hill City, shouldn't have trouble finding local high school kids to work for the summer.

    I bet there’s definitely a lower supply of camper couples. The kind of people who think motorhomes are a great idea are increasingly not able to afford motorhomes

    • Replies: @Barnard
    I wondered at the time if these couples were thinking long term. They sold their homes and invested somewhere between 40-50% of the proceeds in an asset that depreciates. Eventually living in an RV is no longer going to be practical for an aging couple. I don't know how many of them had thought that far ahead.
  71. @Patrick in SC
    A great example of just how staggering media bias is, but also an example of how they are able to get away with it.

    Technically, there's no journalistic perjury in the headline (aside from fudging 39% up to 40%). It's the omission that's the whopper. And that's one of the ways they do it.

    There are basically three ways the MSM slants the news: 1) Omission, e.g. just not reporting black-on-white crime, or not blowing it up to the degree it does alleged "racist" incidents; 2) Use of colorful adjectives, e.g. conservative politicians are "far right" with "controversial" and "extreme" ideas who appeal to "less educated" voters with "hot button issues," and 3) the "raising questions" gambit, where there's really no proof of anything going on "but this triple hearsay does 'raise questions'" sufficient to generate a sensational headline. The best example of this is the left's obsession with "Russia" somehow causing the defeat of their candidate of choice. They stared out using "hacking" in an attempt to imply Russia "hacked" into the voting machines to alter votes, and then dropped that in favor of "influenced" or meddled." (See also strategy 2 use of colorful adjectives)

    There are, of course, egregious examples of fraud: Doctoring the Trayvon Martin 911 tapes, Dan Rather's election eve "bombshell, garbling the description of the recent Chicago kidnapping and torture of the retarded white kid by a gang of blacks to make it sound like it was Trump supporters doing the torturing. But, by and large, they stick with strategies 1 through 3.

    Patrick, Omission is a grievious fault. I see no MSM coverage of the white Cincinnati driver who accidently hit a 4 yr. old with his car and then was beaten and executed at the scene. Or, the white adjunct professor of art, who taught at Cleveland State U and John Carroll U, who was shot and killed while driving through Cleveland yesterday at 1:30PM. The prof., David Wilder, was caught in the crossfire of two cars full of thugs as they drove along firing away. A fifteen year old boy was also shot and killed, but hey, how much real mayhem can you cover. Oh, and 16 shot, with one dead, in a Cinci. night club shooting.

  72. @Jack D
    Sorry Joe, but Prosa is right. If you look at world rankings of universities, the top rated American STATE university would be Berkeley (#10 in the Times of London rankings). Michigan , U Wash, Georgia Tech also rank in the top 40. But SUNY Binghamton (the highest rated NY State U) doesn't show up until the 350-400 group.

    Columbia ranks high, NYU ranks high, Cornell ranks high, but the NY State universities are just not in the big leagues. Back in the day, the top government run school in NY would have been City College but that was a long time ago in the Ellis Island era.

    NY has a unique history in that its designated "land grant college" was private Cornell rather than a state u. NY didn't even have a state U system until 1948. The U. Cal system with Berkeley as the crown jewel was established in 1868.

    Jack D, Sigh, that is sad.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    A minor quibble with Jack D.

    SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Stonybrook and SUNY Buffalo are ranked #86, #96, and #99 respectively, by US News & World Report. The rankings that Jack refers to are the Times Educational Supplement rankings of world universities, which, to most Americans, are often highly quirky and don't make intuitive sense beyond the first 20 spots or so.

    So you don't have to sigh that hard for the SUNYs. The college rankings business is a bit of a racket, and the rankings themselves are very debatable.

    Also, the quality of American universities is unusually high. No other country has anywhere near the number of very good universities that we have. It's a bit like men's tennis rankings. Once you are below the top 20 or so, there is little real difference between, say, #44 or #99.

  73. @Jack D
    If there was a real decline in the # of foreign students matriculating, especially grad students, that would be great news, but I doubt that's really true. Arab countries are not really big sources of academic talent (that would be Asia, Asia, Asia nowadays) so even if they all stayed home it would hardly be noticeable. Pakistan and Iran contribute modestly but they would not leave a big hole.

    For decades now, American universities have used foreign grad students as cheap labor. Going back to the '70s I remember having totally incomprehensible Chinese math teaching assistants (their Engrish was incomprehensible, not the math) who were from Taiwan in those days. We keep talking about a shortage of STEM talent but in reality there is a glut - in large part due to the large supply of foreigners, Americans with PhDs have slim chances of ever getting tenure track positions - instead they linger on as underpaid post-docs and adjuncts with no job security. And American industry has mostly stopped hiring PhDs to do basic research - there is no more Bell Labs, IBM does mostly consulting nowadays, etc.

    Then, as the article mentions, these students stay on as H1Bs and take even more jobs away from Americans after they graduate. Or else they take their American training home and compete against US industry. The whole Taiwanese electronic sector (which put the last nail in the coffin of many parts of the US electronics industry) was started by people with US PhDs. How is any of this in America's interest? It might be in the narrow interest of universities that get full tuition paying undergrads and cheap labor from foreign grad students, but how is any of this in the American national interest?

    If there was a real decline in the # of foreign students matriculating, especially grad students, that would be great news, but I doubt that’s really true.

    What reasons do you see for that’s being great news? I tend to agree but am interested in your perspective.

  74. New York has a lot of great stuff, world class stuff – symphonies, operas, museums, etc. that are #1 in the US. Just thru an accident of history, great state universities happens not to be one of them.

    Any university founded only in 1948 has almost zero chance of being top class. Most of the Ivy League Schools were founded before the Revolution and the last chance for being top class was in the batch that was founded right after the Civil War. With a head start of 100 or 200 years, it’s very hard to catch up.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    Caltech was founded in the 1890's I think, but that's the exception (in this as well as other things)
    , @Steve Sailer
    I know a college founded in the 1920s that bought the rights to a defunct college founded in the 1860s to add 60 years to its age.
    , @AnotherGuessModel
    Not questioning this as it seems to add up, but what does the head start offer (besides prestigious alumni) that a newer institution can't compete with?
  75. @27 year old
    I bet there's definitely a lower supply of camper couples. The kind of people who think motorhomes are a great idea are increasingly not able to afford motorhomes

    I wondered at the time if these couples were thinking long term. They sold their homes and invested somewhere between 40-50% of the proceeds in an asset that depreciates. Eventually living in an RV is no longer going to be practical for an aging couple. I don’t know how many of them had thought that far ahead.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Barnard, I agree with you. Why not rent one for a half season and see if it still appeals to you.
    , @27 year old
    And... the people who can afford them, run them through the same lame ass market-based-everything baby boomer filter as they run their 401(k) selections, and thus don't buy them. No personal offense meant to you.
  76. @Almost Missouri

    "If foreigners want to overpay for an American undergrad degree and then go home, I’m not going to complain."
     
    I wish I could agree, but adding capital--of any provenance--to hives of SJW disease hardly helps the nation.

    The Academy is another Beast that needs to be starved, for its own good as well as ours.

    At my local university there are currently three grievance positions open paying $40,900+each.

    It’s not just universities, it’s our judiciary, government bureaucracy, entertainment areas as well. It’s difficult not to get fatalistic about the mamoth work to be done.

  77. Yes, it is mammoth, but the hobbling effect of PC along with the naturally inferior character of those attracted to PC means that it is a weak, cowardly, mentally retarded mammoth.

    So, for the deft spearman, it is a more even match.

  78. @Barnard
    I wondered at the time if these couples were thinking long term. They sold their homes and invested somewhere between 40-50% of the proceeds in an asset that depreciates. Eventually living in an RV is no longer going to be practical for an aging couple. I don't know how many of them had thought that far ahead.

    Barnard, I agree with you. Why not rent one for a half season and see if it still appeals to you.

  79. I just want to know how much revenue was down. year over year.

    If foreign students aren’t a cash cow, then no prob.

    If they are, why bore us with irrelevant stats. Get to the point.

  80. This is bad news? American resources being used by Americans instead of by invaders?

    Pfft. What don’t need to do to get foreign applications and admissions down to zero? Sign me up for that plan.

    When rape and murder start declining as the most violent invaders are deported, will that be lamented as well?

  81. Instead of 40% of colleges, the net is 39% – 35% = 4%, which is an order of magnitude smaller.

    Sorry, but you’re assuming the increases and decreases are equal. If 39% of the schools decrease and the average decrease is 50% whereas of the 35% that increase, the average increase is only 1%, there’s been a sizable drop.

    What is true is that almost as many schools are seeing an increase, and that’s worth mentioning.

    Personally I think it’s time we left a few more spaces for the locals, but that’s a separate issue.

  82. @Barnard
    I wondered at the time if these couples were thinking long term. They sold their homes and invested somewhere between 40-50% of the proceeds in an asset that depreciates. Eventually living in an RV is no longer going to be practical for an aging couple. I don't know how many of them had thought that far ahead.

    And… the people who can afford them, run them through the same lame ass market-based-everything baby boomer filter as they run their 401(k) selections, and thus don’t buy them. No personal offense meant to you.

  83. ‘Sanctuary Cities’ should be called Smuggler-Centers(Smugg-Centers) or Stowaway-Towns(Stow-Towns), or just Stowns.

  84. @Forbes
    Slightly O/T: Many years ago the local cable news channel (NY1) ran a consumer reporter investigative story exposing how hand-packed pints of ice cream at some local retail vendors didn't weigh 16 ounces. A scandalous rip-off, as the story was told!

    Garden variety media innumeracy. Were that story reported today, the NYT would deem it Trump's fault.

    Back in the 90′s when I lived in Brooklyn I would watch NY1 every morning for the weather . Before I realized I could just look out my window . The morning anchor was

    http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/on-air/2015/03/13/roma-torre.html

    I thought she was hot . I see she is still with them . Good for her .

    I paid $800 a month for a third floor apt. at 6th street and 6th Ave. Park Slope was lesbian central back then . My landlord was the chef for an evil press baron that I won’t name . The evil press baron did not eat left overs subsequently at least twice a week I ate as well as one of the richest men in the world . Now I cook for myself getting recipes from online and I still eat well . I worked for the VNS back then . One of my first pts. was an elderly lady , Lou Lou her friends called her . She lived alone at 99 but she eventually needed help even though she was A+O x 3 . She was as thin as a bird , honest to God she could perch on your finger . I would go in for a visit and ask her “did you eat today Ms. S… ” , the little darling would look at the clock and if it was after lunch she would say “yes” . Her friend who used to come by to look in on her at least once a week and pay her bills told me that up until the early 90′s Lou Lou would go to Fl. every year . Once her friend offered to help her carry her bags to the train . Lou Lou said she had no bags . She would put on three pairs of undies , three shirts and three pairs of shorts and place her toiletries in her bag and take the train south . I asked her once “Louise , did you ever have a boy friend or anything ?” She said “I was engaged once , but I can’t remember his name.”

  85. In happier news, the Party announced that chocolate rations have been increased from thirty grams to twenty.

  86. @Hapalong Cassidy
    Even if it were true, this is a bad thing . . . How?

    Looking at my own state of Georgia, we already have a shortage of good public universities - only two in our state (Georgia Tech and UGA) have national reputations - the same number as much smaller states such as Iowa and Oregon. Georgia Tech in particular is outstanding- one of the top five engineering schools in the country and the highest average SAT scores of any public university. Yet it's a relatively small school for a public one - only about 12k undergrads. The kicker is that 22% of the student body (which admittedly includes grad students) is foreign. In state students are around 55 percent. Given that there are only 3k total spots for freshman, less than 2/3rds of which are reserved for in-state students (in what is the 8th most populous state in the US), competition is ridiculously fierce to get in.

    My daughter is going through the process. She had nearly a 1500 SAT score and a 4.1 GPA. She wanted to go into engineering and was rejected at all the U of California schools (except the weakest coastal one) and USC. Why should our schools educate people from China and other countries when we have plenty of qualified students here. I know diversity is important since allowing the Chinese students at an American university to request the Dalai Lama not speak since it would be hurtful to them is a great thing for the US.

    • Agree: Opinionator
    • Replies: @PiltdownMan

    BTW, store bought Haagen Dazs ice cream now comes in a 14 fl. oz. container so you don’t even get a pint by volume anymore.
     
    It is a marketing tactic as old as the hills, one that every MBA brand manager learns as a rookie in a marketing department at places like General Foods or Nestle.

    First, reduce the weight or volume of a food product in the packaging gradually, while keeping the price the same. This hides price increases, as not everyone pays attention to unit prices.

    Then, increase the amount back to the original amount, and label it New! Larger Size!! and raise the price.

    BTW, have you noticed how pillowy and full of air M&M packets have become? Or that Wrigley's chewing gum came in packs of 4 sticks for a while, before they inevitably raised the price?

    , @PiltdownMan
    Larry, sorry. My reply was actually meant for Jack D.
    , @Hapalong Cassidy
    A good tactic would be to go to Cal Poly SLO and then try to transfer to Berkeley.
  87. @Jack D
    New York has a lot of great stuff, world class stuff - symphonies, operas, museums, etc. that are #1 in the US. Just thru an accident of history, great state universities happens not to be one of them.

    Any university founded only in 1948 has almost zero chance of being top class. Most of the Ivy League Schools were founded before the Revolution and the last chance for being top class was in the batch that was founded right after the Civil War. With a head start of 100 or 200 years, it's very hard to catch up.

    Caltech was founded in the 1890′s I think, but that’s the exception (in this as well as other things)

  88. @Jack D
    New York has a lot of great stuff, world class stuff - symphonies, operas, museums, etc. that are #1 in the US. Just thru an accident of history, great state universities happens not to be one of them.

    Any university founded only in 1948 has almost zero chance of being top class. Most of the Ivy League Schools were founded before the Revolution and the last chance for being top class was in the batch that was founded right after the Civil War. With a head start of 100 or 200 years, it's very hard to catch up.

    I know a college founded in the 1920s that bought the rights to a defunct college founded in the 1860s to add 60 years to its age.

  89. @Jim Bob Lassiter
    Consider an alternate explanation that might cast a more favorable light on the NYT. That its reporters and editors are inattentive and innumerate.

    They’ve been getting the benefit of the doubt for quite a while now. I wonder about the sinister motive because the innumeracy and inattentiveness never seem to go the other way.

  90. @Larry, San Francisco
    My daughter is going through the process. She had nearly a 1500 SAT score and a 4.1 GPA. She wanted to go into engineering and was rejected at all the U of California schools (except the weakest coastal one) and USC. Why should our schools educate people from China and other countries when we have plenty of qualified students here. I know diversity is important since allowing the Chinese students at an American university to request the Dalai Lama not speak since it would be hurtful to them is a great thing for the US.

    BTW, store bought Haagen Dazs ice cream now comes in a 14 fl. oz. container so you don’t even get a pint by volume anymore.

    It is a marketing tactic as old as the hills, one that every MBA brand manager learns as a rookie in a marketing department at places like General Foods or Nestle.

    First, reduce the weight or volume of a food product in the packaging gradually, while keeping the price the same. This hides price increases, as not everyone pays attention to unit prices.

    Then, increase the amount back to the original amount, and label it New! Larger Size!! and raise the price.

    BTW, have you noticed how pillowy and full of air M&M packets have become? Or that Wrigley’s chewing gum came in packs of 4 sticks for a while, before they inevitably raised the price?

    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Some enterprising reporter needs to write a feature on this.
  91. @Buffalo Joe
    Jack D, Sigh, that is sad.

    A minor quibble with Jack D.

    SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Stonybrook and SUNY Buffalo are ranked #86, #96, and #99 respectively, by US News & World Report. The rankings that Jack refers to are the Times Educational Supplement rankings of world universities, which, to most Americans, are often highly quirky and don’t make intuitive sense beyond the first 20 spots or so.

    So you don’t have to sigh that hard for the SUNYs. The college rankings business is a bit of a racket, and the rankings themselves are very debatable.

    Also, the quality of American universities is unusually high. No other country has anywhere near the number of very good universities that we have. It’s a bit like men’s tennis rankings. Once you are below the top 20 or so, there is little real difference between, say, #44 or #99.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    I used the Times rankings because they (and the Shanghai rankings too) give high ranks to flagship state U's who do important research and worry less about these school's "reputations" among soccer moms. Georgia Tech or U Wash are not where most yuppies dream of sending their kids but their faculty does important work. But the NY State U's don't have that (and being #86 in US News is not exactly covering yourself with glory either - they rank Berkeley as #20).

    No matter what ranking system you use, it's just impossible to say that the NY State U's are among the top state universities. They just aren't.

    I agree that the ranking after the top 20 are less than precise but they reflect something - for example Binghamton really is considered slightly better than the other campuses.
    , @Autochthon
    The rankings of universities from U.S. News & World Report (and about any others, come to that) are complete horseshit.

    They were developed to make money for the magazine concomitantly with the magazine's flagging sales.
  92. @PiltdownMan

    BTW, store bought Haagen Dazs ice cream now comes in a 14 fl. oz. container so you don’t even get a pint by volume anymore.
     
    It is a marketing tactic as old as the hills, one that every MBA brand manager learns as a rookie in a marketing department at places like General Foods or Nestle.

    First, reduce the weight or volume of a food product in the packaging gradually, while keeping the price the same. This hides price increases, as not everyone pays attention to unit prices.

    Then, increase the amount back to the original amount, and label it New! Larger Size!! and raise the price.

    BTW, have you noticed how pillowy and full of air M&M packets have become? Or that Wrigley's chewing gum came in packs of 4 sticks for a while, before they inevitably raised the price?

    Some enterprising reporter needs to write a feature on this.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    I first heard about the tactic, years ago, from a college buddy who went on to manage a cereal brand at General Mills.

    And at least one news reporter has noticed.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/business/29shrink.html

  93. @Opinionator
    Some enterprising reporter needs to write a feature on this.

    I first heard about the tactic, years ago, from a college buddy who went on to manage a cereal brand at General Mills.

    And at least one news reporter has noticed.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/business/29shrink.html

    • Replies: @Jack D
    This started decades ago. A 1 lb. package of coffee hasn't weighed a lb. for going on 40 yrs. A half gallon of ice cream is now 1.5 quarts, a half gallon of OJ is 59 oz, etc. The only reason they haven't done it with milk is that it is the holy drink of white people. No, wait, strike that, it's because milk prices are government regulated. A 1 lb. jar of peanut butter is 15, 14, 13 oz. - if you flip the jar upside down it has a bottom that is domed upward and the dome keeps getting bigger.

    The reason that food companies do this is that it is proven to work. Consumers remember that a jar of peanut butter costs $1.99 and they will scream like stuck pigs if you raise it to $2.25. But shrink the jar 1.5 oz. and no one notices.

    The only places I've seen the "shrink it until it's half as big and then introduce the new "double" size is in paper goods. The # of sheets in a roll of paper towels shrank and shrank until they introduced the "double roll" which is the same size as the original roll before it started shrinking.
  94. @Jack D
    Actually 16 fluid ounces OF WATER weighs slightly MORE than 1 lb. However, ice cream (even when machine packed) contains a certain amount of air whipped into it so that a pint of ice cream (pint is a volume measurement) might not weigh 1 lb.

    BTW, store bought Haagen Dazs ice cream now comes in a 14 fl. oz. container so you don't even get a pint by volume anymore.

    Jack, my reply above.

  95. @Larry, San Francisco
    My daughter is going through the process. She had nearly a 1500 SAT score and a 4.1 GPA. She wanted to go into engineering and was rejected at all the U of California schools (except the weakest coastal one) and USC. Why should our schools educate people from China and other countries when we have plenty of qualified students here. I know diversity is important since allowing the Chinese students at an American university to request the Dalai Lama not speak since it would be hurtful to them is a great thing for the US.

    Larry, sorry. My reply was actually meant for Jack D.

  96. @Peter Johnson
    That is deliberately deceptive reporting. The hard-won reputation of the New York Times for honest reporting is disappearing fast.

    hard-won reputation of the New York Times for honest reporting

    I hope that’s sarcasm.

  97. @PiltdownMan
    A minor quibble with Jack D.

    SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Stonybrook and SUNY Buffalo are ranked #86, #96, and #99 respectively, by US News & World Report. The rankings that Jack refers to are the Times Educational Supplement rankings of world universities, which, to most Americans, are often highly quirky and don't make intuitive sense beyond the first 20 spots or so.

    So you don't have to sigh that hard for the SUNYs. The college rankings business is a bit of a racket, and the rankings themselves are very debatable.

    Also, the quality of American universities is unusually high. No other country has anywhere near the number of very good universities that we have. It's a bit like men's tennis rankings. Once you are below the top 20 or so, there is little real difference between, say, #44 or #99.

    I used the Times rankings because they (and the Shanghai rankings too) give high ranks to flagship state U’s who do important research and worry less about these school’s “reputations” among soccer moms. Georgia Tech or U Wash are not where most yuppies dream of sending their kids but their faculty does important work. But the NY State U’s don’t have that (and being #86 in US News is not exactly covering yourself with glory either – they rank Berkeley as #20).

    No matter what ranking system you use, it’s just impossible to say that the NY State U’s are among the top state universities. They just aren’t.

    I agree that the ranking after the top 20 are less than precise but they reflect something – for example Binghamton really is considered slightly better than the other campuses.

    • Replies: @benjaminl

    Georgia Tech or U Wash are not where most yuppies dream of sending their kids but their faculty does important work.
     
    I think this is where attitudes in the Northeast and especially New England are actually very different from elsewhere in the country.

    In much of the country, the state U. is the strongest university around, and the Ivy League (and a fortiori liberal-arts colleges) are definitely an eccentric minority taste, reserved for the upper class and the hardcore Tiger Moms.

    If I drive around and look at the charmingly restored Tudor and Craftsman houses in the yuppie / upwardly mobile neighborhoods in our large Southwestern / Central metropolis, along with all the Audi, BMW and Lexus vehicles I see plenty of proudly flown college flags and bumper stickers -- almost entirely from the Big 12 schools, not from private schools.

    I'm talking about not the wealthiest neighborhoods, but upper-middle-class neighborhoods where mid-level doctors, lawyers and MBAs live.
  98. @Jack D
    New York has a lot of great stuff, world class stuff - symphonies, operas, museums, etc. that are #1 in the US. Just thru an accident of history, great state universities happens not to be one of them.

    Any university founded only in 1948 has almost zero chance of being top class. Most of the Ivy League Schools were founded before the Revolution and the last chance for being top class was in the batch that was founded right after the Civil War. With a head start of 100 or 200 years, it's very hard to catch up.

    Not questioning this as it seems to add up, but what does the head start offer (besides prestigious alumni) that a newer institution can’t compete with?

    • Replies: @Jack D
    For the same reason that it's easier for Warren Buffett to make one more million $ than it is for you or I to make one more million $ - money goes to money, strength goes to strength. Let's say it's 1948 and you are Dick Feynman, a freshly graduated PhD looking for a faculty appointment. All of your profs recognize that you are a really brilliant guy who will do important work some day and you are eagerly sought after. You have several job offers, one from the newly created SUNY and one from Caltech. Which do you take? And the same remains true for any date from 1948 until today. 20 years later and you're a top physics grad - do you want to work with Feynman at Caltech or some nobody at SUNY? It's not quite Zeno's Paradox where Achilles can never overtake the tortoise because the tortoise has a head start (Caltech itself goes back to only 1890 and by its current name only since 1920) but it's close.
  99. @Larry, San Francisco
    My daughter is going through the process. She had nearly a 1500 SAT score and a 4.1 GPA. She wanted to go into engineering and was rejected at all the U of California schools (except the weakest coastal one) and USC. Why should our schools educate people from China and other countries when we have plenty of qualified students here. I know diversity is important since allowing the Chinese students at an American university to request the Dalai Lama not speak since it would be hurtful to them is a great thing for the US.

    A good tactic would be to go to Cal Poly SLO and then try to transfer to Berkeley.

  100. I think that the point is that for some reason the Northeast doesn’t put as much effort into its public universities as other regions of the country. Massachusetts- arguably the most intellectual state in the US- is known for its great universities – but only the private ones. The flagship state university, UMass, is rather ho-hum compared to the flagship states schools elsewhere. And New Jersey has Rutgers, but what what else?

    States in the South, West, and Midwest tend to put more emphasis on the public universities. A noticeable exception is Illinois. The Flagship university is good, but they have no other decent options in a state that is the 5th largest in the US. I suppose a lot of the top HS students in Illinois end up going to state schools in Michigan, Indiana, and other Midwestern states.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    If you are in NY, Cornell or Columbia or NYU skim off the cream of the locals who want to remain in state . In Mass, Harvard and MIT get the very best and U Mass gets Joker Tsarnaev. If you are in Michigan or Wisconsin or Washington, what other local u is going to skim off the cream of the locals?
    , @Autochthon

    The Flagship university is good, but they have no other decent options....
     
    Saying the University of Illinois is good is like saying Ghengis Khan "had initiative."

    Type the phrase "Silicon Prairie" into your favourite search engine.* There is this place, and the College of Engineering as a whole, both stellar. The agricultural faculty do word-class genomic work, as well (it ain't your grampa's dairy science...).

    Your first paragraph also helps to answer your second: Illinois is like Massachusetts, New York, and so on, with both Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago taking significant of its best students out of the public universities. Indiana, Washington, Wisconsin, et al. have nothing comparable to these two juggernauts....

    *I did this exercise myself preparing this note, and I see that, hilariously, places in Texas and elsewhere are now appropriating it. Nobody in the industry thinks of anyplace but Chambana when they hear that phrase.
  101. @Jack D
    I used the Times rankings because they (and the Shanghai rankings too) give high ranks to flagship state U's who do important research and worry less about these school's "reputations" among soccer moms. Georgia Tech or U Wash are not where most yuppies dream of sending their kids but their faculty does important work. But the NY State U's don't have that (and being #86 in US News is not exactly covering yourself with glory either - they rank Berkeley as #20).

    No matter what ranking system you use, it's just impossible to say that the NY State U's are among the top state universities. They just aren't.

    I agree that the ranking after the top 20 are less than precise but they reflect something - for example Binghamton really is considered slightly better than the other campuses.

    Georgia Tech or U Wash are not where most yuppies dream of sending their kids but their faculty does important work.

    I think this is where attitudes in the Northeast and especially New England are actually very different from elsewhere in the country.

    In much of the country, the state U. is the strongest university around, and the Ivy League (and a fortiori liberal-arts colleges) are definitely an eccentric minority taste, reserved for the upper class and the hardcore Tiger Moms.

    If I drive around and look at the charmingly restored Tudor and Craftsman houses in the yuppie / upwardly mobile neighborhoods in our large Southwestern / Central metropolis, along with all the Audi, BMW and Lexus vehicles I see plenty of proudly flown college flags and bumper stickers — almost entirely from the Big 12 schools, not from private schools.

    I’m talking about not the wealthiest neighborhoods, but upper-middle-class neighborhoods where mid-level doctors, lawyers and MBAs live.

    • Agree: Autochthon
    • Replies: @Jack D
    I don't disagree but in order to appear high in the US News rankings you have to have a national reputation. Sure, in lots of Western states, the State U is tops, but Oklahomans go to Oklahoma, Kansans got to Kansas, etc. so their reputation does not extend much beyond their home state.
  102. @AnotherGuessModel
    Not questioning this as it seems to add up, but what does the head start offer (besides prestigious alumni) that a newer institution can't compete with?

    For the same reason that it’s easier for Warren Buffett to make one more million $ than it is for you or I to make one more million $ – money goes to money, strength goes to strength. Let’s say it’s 1948 and you are Dick Feynman, a freshly graduated PhD looking for a faculty appointment. All of your profs recognize that you are a really brilliant guy who will do important work some day and you are eagerly sought after. You have several job offers, one from the newly created SUNY and one from Caltech. Which do you take? And the same remains true for any date from 1948 until today. 20 years later and you’re a top physics grad – do you want to work with Feynman at Caltech or some nobody at SUNY? It’s not quite Zeno’s Paradox where Achilles can never overtake the tortoise because the tortoise has a head start (Caltech itself goes back to only 1890 and by its current name only since 1920) but it’s close.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
  103. @Hapalong Cassidy
    I think that the point is that for some reason the Northeast doesn't put as much effort into its public universities as other regions of the country. Massachusetts- arguably the most intellectual state in the US- is known for its great universities - but only the private ones. The flagship state university, UMass, is rather ho-hum compared to the flagship states schools elsewhere. And New Jersey has Rutgers, but what what else?

    States in the South, West, and Midwest tend to put more emphasis on the public universities. A noticeable exception is Illinois. The Flagship university is good, but they have no other decent options in a state that is the 5th largest in the US. I suppose a lot of the top HS students in Illinois end up going to state schools in Michigan, Indiana, and other Midwestern states.

    If you are in NY, Cornell or Columbia or NYU skim off the cream of the locals who want to remain in state . In Mass, Harvard and MIT get the very best and U Mass gets Joker Tsarnaev. If you are in Michigan or Wisconsin or Washington, what other local u is going to skim off the cream of the locals?

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    Agreed.

    In the state of New York, the effect is amplified by the fact that Cornell is partly a state school in addition to being a private Ivy.

    The largest private part of Cornell undergrad, Arts and Sciences, is paralleled by the Agriculture and Life Sciences state school, which offers many of the same undergrad majors, for all practical purposes. So at least a thousand or more top students in New York state end up at Cornell, paying in-state tuition similar to the SUNYs, rather than at the SUNYs themselves.
  104. @Peter Johnson
    That is deliberately deceptive reporting. The hard-won reputation of the New York Times for honest reporting is disappearing fast.

    It annoys me when people think the point of clickbait headlines is to entice people to read a story that doesn’t live up to the headline. No, the point of a clickbait headline is for the headline to go viral without anyone actually clicking on the full piece.

    • Replies: @guest
    The point of clickbait is to bait you into clicks.
  105. @PiltdownMan
    A minor quibble with Jack D.

    SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Stonybrook and SUNY Buffalo are ranked #86, #96, and #99 respectively, by US News & World Report. The rankings that Jack refers to are the Times Educational Supplement rankings of world universities, which, to most Americans, are often highly quirky and don't make intuitive sense beyond the first 20 spots or so.

    So you don't have to sigh that hard for the SUNYs. The college rankings business is a bit of a racket, and the rankings themselves are very debatable.

    Also, the quality of American universities is unusually high. No other country has anywhere near the number of very good universities that we have. It's a bit like men's tennis rankings. Once you are below the top 20 or so, there is little real difference between, say, #44 or #99.

    The rankings of universities from U.S. News & World Report (and about any others, come to that) are complete horseshit.

    They were developed to make money for the magazine concomitantly with the magazine’s flagging sales.

  106. @benjaminl

    Georgia Tech or U Wash are not where most yuppies dream of sending their kids but their faculty does important work.
     
    I think this is where attitudes in the Northeast and especially New England are actually very different from elsewhere in the country.

    In much of the country, the state U. is the strongest university around, and the Ivy League (and a fortiori liberal-arts colleges) are definitely an eccentric minority taste, reserved for the upper class and the hardcore Tiger Moms.

    If I drive around and look at the charmingly restored Tudor and Craftsman houses in the yuppie / upwardly mobile neighborhoods in our large Southwestern / Central metropolis, along with all the Audi, BMW and Lexus vehicles I see plenty of proudly flown college flags and bumper stickers -- almost entirely from the Big 12 schools, not from private schools.

    I'm talking about not the wealthiest neighborhoods, but upper-middle-class neighborhoods where mid-level doctors, lawyers and MBAs live.

    I don’t disagree but in order to appear high in the US News rankings you have to have a national reputation. Sure, in lots of Western states, the State U is tops, but Oklahomans go to Oklahoma, Kansans got to Kansas, etc. so their reputation does not extend much beyond their home state.

    • Replies: @benjaminl
    I don't think I disagree with that either, but my point is that concern with "national reputation" is a bigger deal in some yuppievilles than others (i.e. Northeastern ones)....

    I suggest that a typical yuppie household in Marblehead, MA (household income $98K) is going to be thinking more about Wesleyan, Williams, etc. and their "national reputation" than a typical yuppie household in Frisco, TX (household income $100K). In Frisco, TX the parents probably got their MD or MBA from a Big 12 school and don't really see the point of spending all the money on a private school or going so far away to a cold and snowy place.

    More anecdotes: back in Silicon Valley suburbs 20 years ago, all the Tiger Moms and most of the other moms were mostly focused on U. of California campuses, since they were cheaper and closer (and less anti-Asian discrimination). Some of those kids turned out as venture capitalists or medical chiefs at research hospitals, so they would argue that not going to HYPS didn't really hurt them too much.

    Here in Southwestern Metropolis, almost all the Ivy grads seem to be either: 1) here for professional services firms (lawyers, consultants) or MDs, or 2) married to local girl Ivy alums who brought them back here. The vast majority of the local civic bigwigs and wealthy people are not Ivy alums. They are happy to send their kids to the Ivy schools but they don't seem to worry about it too much.
  107. @PiltdownMan
    I first heard about the tactic, years ago, from a college buddy who went on to manage a cereal brand at General Mills.

    And at least one news reporter has noticed.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/business/29shrink.html

    This started decades ago. A 1 lb. package of coffee hasn’t weighed a lb. for going on 40 yrs. A half gallon of ice cream is now 1.5 quarts, a half gallon of OJ is 59 oz, etc. The only reason they haven’t done it with milk is that it is the holy drink of white people. No, wait, strike that, it’s because milk prices are government regulated. A 1 lb. jar of peanut butter is 15, 14, 13 oz. – if you flip the jar upside down it has a bottom that is domed upward and the dome keeps getting bigger.

    The reason that food companies do this is that it is proven to work. Consumers remember that a jar of peanut butter costs $1.99 and they will scream like stuck pigs if you raise it to $2.25. But shrink the jar 1.5 oz. and no one notices.

    The only places I’ve seen the “shrink it until it’s half as big and then introduce the new “double” size is in paper goods. The # of sheets in a roll of paper towels shrank and shrank until they introduced the “double roll” which is the same size as the original roll before it started shrinking.

  108. @Hapalong Cassidy
    I think that the point is that for some reason the Northeast doesn't put as much effort into its public universities as other regions of the country. Massachusetts- arguably the most intellectual state in the US- is known for its great universities - but only the private ones. The flagship state university, UMass, is rather ho-hum compared to the flagship states schools elsewhere. And New Jersey has Rutgers, but what what else?

    States in the South, West, and Midwest tend to put more emphasis on the public universities. A noticeable exception is Illinois. The Flagship university is good, but they have no other decent options in a state that is the 5th largest in the US. I suppose a lot of the top HS students in Illinois end up going to state schools in Michigan, Indiana, and other Midwestern states.

    The Flagship university is good, but they have no other decent options….

    Saying the University of Illinois is good is like saying Ghengis Khan “had initiative.”

    Type the phrase “Silicon Prairie” into your favourite search engine.* There is this place, and the College of Engineering as a whole, both stellar. The agricultural faculty do word-class genomic work, as well (it ain’t your grampa’s dairy science…).

    Your first paragraph also helps to answer your second: Illinois is like Massachusetts, New York, and so on, with both Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago taking significant of its best students out of the public universities. Indiana, Washington, Wisconsin, et al. have nothing comparable to these two juggernauts….

    *I did this exercise myself preparing this note, and I see that, hilariously, places in Texas and elsewhere are now appropriating it. Nobody in the industry thinks of anyplace but Chambana when they hear that phrase.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Let's not get carried away. Champaign-Urbana is very good, esp. in technical areas, but overall there are a number of state U's that have to be considered better - Berkeley, UCLA, U Va, Michigan, UNC, Georgia Tech, etc. Champaign-Urbana roughly is on par with the better Cal schools other than the ones I already mentioned.

    Indiana has Notre Dame.
  109. @Autochthon

    The Flagship university is good, but they have no other decent options....
     
    Saying the University of Illinois is good is like saying Ghengis Khan "had initiative."

    Type the phrase "Silicon Prairie" into your favourite search engine.* There is this place, and the College of Engineering as a whole, both stellar. The agricultural faculty do word-class genomic work, as well (it ain't your grampa's dairy science...).

    Your first paragraph also helps to answer your second: Illinois is like Massachusetts, New York, and so on, with both Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago taking significant of its best students out of the public universities. Indiana, Washington, Wisconsin, et al. have nothing comparable to these two juggernauts....

    *I did this exercise myself preparing this note, and I see that, hilariously, places in Texas and elsewhere are now appropriating it. Nobody in the industry thinks of anyplace but Chambana when they hear that phrase.

    Let’s not get carried away. Champaign-Urbana is very good, esp. in technical areas, but overall there are a number of state U’s that have to be considered better – Berkeley, UCLA, U Va, Michigan, UNC, Georgia Tech, etc. Champaign-Urbana roughly is on par with the better Cal schools other than the ones I already mentioned.

    Indiana has Notre Dame.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    Jack, you've mentioned Berkeley a number of times, but I really think Berkeley is one of a kind , and has been, for seven decades or more. It is singular in that it is a state school that is also one of the very best universities in the world, right up there with Oxford, or Princeton or MIT or about half-a-dozen others. So it really is not representative in any way of how good, good state schools can be. It is much better and continues to be, due to a variety of factors and advantages gained historically.
  110. I’m not comparing the University of Illinois to those you enumerate, but, rather, to those Mr. Cassidy did (I concede the University of Michigan probably rightfully enjoys greater prestige).

    My expertise is semiconductors and telecommunications, so I won’t pretend expertise otherwise; as you concede, the University of Illinois’ reputation exceeds all the schools’ you list – save, arguably, the University of California at Berkeley and the Georgia Institute of Technology – in these and similar areas.

    Cassidy’s point was all about states unlike, e.g., California; those which have a single flagship public university and not much else going on. My point is Illinois does not fit that bill.

    I don’t count Notre Dame University as comparable to any of the schools you enumerated, nor to the leading three schools in Illinois; in the event, my main point was not that the University of Illinois is nonpareil, but rather to refute the suggestion that it is mediocre, or that Illinois lacked “other decent options” (I expect we can all agree Northwestern University and the University of Chicago are plenty decent…).

    Off Topic, But iSteve-ish:

    I keep seeing the adverts for this Telo-Years outfit (they claim to test one’s telomeres from a sample of blood to gauge health and probable longevity).

    Am I the only one who finds that premise creepy for the same reasons Robert Heinlein did all those years ago? (Jack Vance’s To Live Forever also comes to mind, albeit more obliquely….)

    One reason I spend entirely too much time here (besides Steve’s own writing and analysis and my being bedridden) is that it’s one of the only venues for intelligent discussion available to me, so I’m curious what Steve and the commentariat think about how advisable and desirable foreknowlege of one’s own demise would be….

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan

    One reason I spend entirely too much time here (besides Steve’s own writing and analysis and my being bedridden) is that it’s one of the only venues for intelligent discussion available to me, so I’m curious what Steve and the commentariat think about how advisable and desirable foreknowlege of one’s own demise would be…
     
    Save your money. They can do no such thing. I get junk mail from some genome testing outfit all the time. These outfits play on fear and morbid curiosity to make money. Gene tests may spot certain diseases in advance of their happening, which may or may not have medical value in terms of early interventions. Quality of life also depends on, sometimes, not knowing or worrying—which is advice from my long term doctor, who is both old and wise, in addition to being highly qualified.

    My sincere wishes for your good health and a rapid recovery from your situation.

    , @res

    I’m curious what Steve and the commentariat think about how advisable and desirable foreknowlege of one’s own demise would be
     
    For me I think it would depend on how likely it was I could do something about it.

    For the fortune teller case (magically and correctly predict the future without fail) I really don't know. Knowing would help prioritize life goals (e.g. how long to stay in education, how many risks to take), but might also be soul crushing.

    For the telomere case (assuming it has some validity, I'm agnostic as to whether they can get a good estimate right now) it might be helpful to know if my current situation was better/worse than average. The latter might be encouragement to take measures to improve aging. One key decider for having a test done is how will my response differ for the different results? The telomere test fails that because I should probably just take the same anti-aging measures regardless of result.

    I think the most interesting case is also the most realistic--genetic testing. I'm in favor of knowing because I think there is a very real chance of specific knowledge giving ideas for specific things to do to help. For a simple personal example, I am heterozygous for hemochromatosis (interestingly to me, this SNP showed up in a study looking for genetic markers in endurance athletes). This means I'm prone to high iron (probably would be good if I were female, but...). This means it's probably a good idea to get tested for that every now and then (e.g. pay attention to my hemoglobin level, serum iron, and ferritin). As a countermeasure, blood donation can help if the iron level gets too high (as can diet as a preventive). Zero impact in my life to date (besides a fairly high hematocrit which is nice for an athlete, that's why people take EPO, but mine isn't THAT high), but I think it's good to know. Also see the alcoholism discussion elsewhere. That seems like an area ripe for genetic analysis.

    On the other hand finding out about something 100% penetrant and fatal might not be so fun. That's closer to the soul crushing side of the fortune teller case.
  111. @Jack D
    If you are in NY, Cornell or Columbia or NYU skim off the cream of the locals who want to remain in state . In Mass, Harvard and MIT get the very best and U Mass gets Joker Tsarnaev. If you are in Michigan or Wisconsin or Washington, what other local u is going to skim off the cream of the locals?

    Agreed.

    In the state of New York, the effect is amplified by the fact that Cornell is partly a state school in addition to being a private Ivy.

    The largest private part of Cornell undergrad, Arts and Sciences, is paralleled by the Agriculture and Life Sciences state school, which offers many of the same undergrad majors, for all practical purposes. So at least a thousand or more top students in New York state end up at Cornell, paying in-state tuition similar to the SUNYs, rather than at the SUNYs themselves.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    My stepuncle got his ag degree from Cornell, and was making a half-mil a year as a vice president of a major supplier of your supermarket's condiment aisle. Moo U, indeed.

    Syracuse has the same arrangement with the state's forestry school. But I doubt it draws the state's best students. Perhaps the weirdest…
  112. @Jack D
    Let's not get carried away. Champaign-Urbana is very good, esp. in technical areas, but overall there are a number of state U's that have to be considered better - Berkeley, UCLA, U Va, Michigan, UNC, Georgia Tech, etc. Champaign-Urbana roughly is on par with the better Cal schools other than the ones I already mentioned.

    Indiana has Notre Dame.

    Jack, you’ve mentioned Berkeley a number of times, but I really think Berkeley is one of a kind , and has been, for seven decades or more. It is singular in that it is a state school that is also one of the very best universities in the world, right up there with Oxford, or Princeton or MIT or about half-a-dozen others. So it really is not representative in any way of how good, good state schools can be. It is much better and continues to be, due to a variety of factors and advantages gained historically.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    I agree that Berkeley in an outlier when it comes to state U's but I list many other state U's that are also very good if not quite in Berkeley's league. So removing Berkeley from the discussion does not change the points I have otherwise made.
  113. @Autochthon
    I'm not comparing the University of Illinois to those you enumerate, but, rather, to those Mr. Cassidy did (I concede the University of Michigan probably rightfully enjoys greater prestige).

    My expertise is semiconductors and telecommunications, so I won't pretend expertise otherwise; as you concede, the University of Illinois' reputation exceeds all the schools' you list – save, arguably, the University of California at Berkeley and the Georgia Institute of Technology – in these and similar areas.

    Cassidy's point was all about states unlike, e.g., California; those which have a single flagship public university and not much else going on. My point is Illinois does not fit that bill.

    I don't count Notre Dame University as comparable to any of the schools you enumerated, nor to the leading three schools in Illinois; in the event, my main point was not that the University of Illinois is nonpareil, but rather to refute the suggestion that it is mediocre, or that Illinois lacked "other decent options" (I expect we can all agree Northwestern University and the University of Chicago are plenty decent...).

    Off Topic, But iSteve-ish:

    I keep seeing the adverts for this Telo-Years outfit (they claim to test one's telomeres from a sample of blood to gauge health and probable longevity).

    Am I the only one who finds that premise creepy for the same reasons Robert Heinlein did all those years ago? (Jack Vance's To Live Forever also comes to mind, albeit more obliquely....)

    One reason I spend entirely too much time here (besides Steve's own writing and analysis and my being bedridden) is that it's one of the only venues for intelligent discussion available to me, so I'm curious what Steve and the commentariat think about how advisable and desirable foreknowlege of one's own demise would be....

    One reason I spend entirely too much time here (besides Steve’s own writing and analysis and my being bedridden) is that it’s one of the only venues for intelligent discussion available to me, so I’m curious what Steve and the commentariat think about how advisable and desirable foreknowlege of one’s own demise would be…

    Save your money. They can do no such thing. I get junk mail from some genome testing outfit all the time. These outfits play on fear and morbid curiosity to make money. Gene tests may spot certain diseases in advance of their happening, which may or may not have medical value in terms of early interventions. Quality of life also depends on, sometimes, not knowing or worrying—which is advice from my long term doctor, who is both old and wise, in addition to being highly qualified.

    My sincere wishes for your good health and a rapid recovery from your situation.

  114. @PiltdownMan
    Jack, you've mentioned Berkeley a number of times, but I really think Berkeley is one of a kind , and has been, for seven decades or more. It is singular in that it is a state school that is also one of the very best universities in the world, right up there with Oxford, or Princeton or MIT or about half-a-dozen others. So it really is not representative in any way of how good, good state schools can be. It is much better and continues to be, due to a variety of factors and advantages gained historically.

    I agree that Berkeley in an outlier when it comes to state U’s but I list many other state U’s that are also very good if not quite in Berkeley’s league. So removing Berkeley from the discussion does not change the points I have otherwise made.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    Agreed. SUNY is no UCLA, nor a U. Wisc-Madison, and hasn't been near them in a long time.

    As Autochthon indicated, the US News rankings do attract particular ridicule these days, but my point was that below the first tier of very best schools it's hard to make relative judgements within 20 or 30 ranking spots, no matter who is doing the ranking.

    TES and QS rankings are good, but they have their own issues. Anyone closely familiar with a few universities personally, can spot name/rank combinations that simply make no sense. I think it was last year that QS ranked the two principal Singapore universities above Yale. Knowing all three reasonably well, including being in touch with faculty at those places, that stood out like a sore thumb to me. My point being that subjective rankings may not make sense sometimes, subjectively speaking.
  115. @Jack D
    I agree that Berkeley in an outlier when it comes to state U's but I list many other state U's that are also very good if not quite in Berkeley's league. So removing Berkeley from the discussion does not change the points I have otherwise made.

    Agreed. SUNY is no UCLA, nor a U. Wisc-Madison, and hasn’t been near them in a long time.

    As Autochthon indicated, the US News rankings do attract particular ridicule these days, but my point was that below the first tier of very best schools it’s hard to make relative judgements within 20 or 30 ranking spots, no matter who is doing the ranking.

    TES and QS rankings are good, but they have their own issues. Anyone closely familiar with a few universities personally, can spot name/rank combinations that simply make no sense. I think it was last year that QS ranked the two principal Singapore universities above Yale. Knowing all three reasonably well, including being in touch with faculty at those places, that stood out like a sore thumb to me. My point being that subjective rankings may not make sense sometimes, subjectively speaking.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    What so you and Jack D. reckon about the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor? Do you reckon it compares to the University of California at Berkeley? I seem to recall its more commonly being referred to as a "public Ivy."

    (Thanks for your kind words, Piltdown Man.)

  116. @Carbon blob
    It annoys me when people think the point of clickbait headlines is to entice people to read a story that doesn't live up to the headline. No, the point of a clickbait headline is for the headline to go viral without anyone actually clicking on the full piece.

    The point of clickbait is to bait you into clicks.

  117. @PiltdownMan
    Agreed. SUNY is no UCLA, nor a U. Wisc-Madison, and hasn't been near them in a long time.

    As Autochthon indicated, the US News rankings do attract particular ridicule these days, but my point was that below the first tier of very best schools it's hard to make relative judgements within 20 or 30 ranking spots, no matter who is doing the ranking.

    TES and QS rankings are good, but they have their own issues. Anyone closely familiar with a few universities personally, can spot name/rank combinations that simply make no sense. I think it was last year that QS ranked the two principal Singapore universities above Yale. Knowing all three reasonably well, including being in touch with faculty at those places, that stood out like a sore thumb to me. My point being that subjective rankings may not make sense sometimes, subjectively speaking.

    What so you and Jack D. reckon about the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor? Do you reckon it compares to the University of California at Berkeley? I seem to recall its more commonly being referred to as a “public Ivy.”

    (Thanks for your kind words, Piltdown Man.)

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Michigan is very good but more comparable to UCLA than Berkeley. Berkeley, as Piltdown Man says, is the clear #1 among public U's. Still it's a very good school and small differences in rankings are not that meaningful.
    , @PiltdownMan
    The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is in the first ranked cohort of state universities, Berkeley excepted. And unlike many of the Cal. schools these days, which are feeling the pinch of budget austerity imposed by California legislature, U. Mich. at Ann Arbor appears to be in pretty good shape.

    U. Mich is arguably the best school in the Midwest outside of the University of Chicago, though, obviously, you could make arguments in favor of the University of Indiana at Urbana Champaign or the University of Wisconsin at Madison depending on area of study, particular professors and graduate specializations. But that would be the usual sort of debate in these matters.

    IMHO.

  118. @PiltdownMan
    Agreed.

    In the state of New York, the effect is amplified by the fact that Cornell is partly a state school in addition to being a private Ivy.

    The largest private part of Cornell undergrad, Arts and Sciences, is paralleled by the Agriculture and Life Sciences state school, which offers many of the same undergrad majors, for all practical purposes. So at least a thousand or more top students in New York state end up at Cornell, paying in-state tuition similar to the SUNYs, rather than at the SUNYs themselves.

    My stepuncle got his ag degree from Cornell, and was making a half-mil a year as a vice president of a major supplier of your supermarket’s condiment aisle. Moo U, indeed.

    Syracuse has the same arrangement with the state’s forestry school. But I doubt it draws the state’s best students. Perhaps the weirdest…

  119. @Autochthon
    What so you and Jack D. reckon about the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor? Do you reckon it compares to the University of California at Berkeley? I seem to recall its more commonly being referred to as a "public Ivy."

    (Thanks for your kind words, Piltdown Man.)

    Michigan is very good but more comparable to UCLA than Berkeley. Berkeley, as Piltdown Man says, is the clear #1 among public U’s. Still it’s a very good school and small differences in rankings are not that meaningful.

    • Replies: @res

    Still it’s a very good school and small differences in rankings are not that meaningful.
     
    I think all of you in this conversation already know this, but I think it is worth making the point that at the level you are talking about specific programs and/or professors probably matter more than the overall university ranking.

    The big exception to that is looking for a name that's impressive to the uninitiated. In that realm it can be helpful to just go to the name university for grad school if that is feasible.
  120. @Jack D
    I don't disagree but in order to appear high in the US News rankings you have to have a national reputation. Sure, in lots of Western states, the State U is tops, but Oklahomans go to Oklahoma, Kansans got to Kansas, etc. so their reputation does not extend much beyond their home state.

    I don’t think I disagree with that either, but my point is that concern with “national reputation” is a bigger deal in some yuppievilles than others (i.e. Northeastern ones)….

    I suggest that a typical yuppie household in Marblehead, MA (household income $98K) is going to be thinking more about Wesleyan, Williams, etc. and their “national reputation” than a typical yuppie household in Frisco, TX (household income $100K). In Frisco, TX the parents probably got their MD or MBA from a Big 12 school and don’t really see the point of spending all the money on a private school or going so far away to a cold and snowy place.

    More anecdotes: back in Silicon Valley suburbs 20 years ago, all the Tiger Moms and most of the other moms were mostly focused on U. of California campuses, since they were cheaper and closer (and less anti-Asian discrimination). Some of those kids turned out as venture capitalists or medical chiefs at research hospitals, so they would argue that not going to HYPS didn’t really hurt them too much.

    Here in Southwestern Metropolis, almost all the Ivy grads seem to be either: 1) here for professional services firms (lawyers, consultants) or MDs, or 2) married to local girl Ivy alums who brought them back here. The vast majority of the local civic bigwigs and wealthy people are not Ivy alums. They are happy to send their kids to the Ivy schools but they don’t seem to worry about it too much.

  121. @Autochthon
    I'm not comparing the University of Illinois to those you enumerate, but, rather, to those Mr. Cassidy did (I concede the University of Michigan probably rightfully enjoys greater prestige).

    My expertise is semiconductors and telecommunications, so I won't pretend expertise otherwise; as you concede, the University of Illinois' reputation exceeds all the schools' you list – save, arguably, the University of California at Berkeley and the Georgia Institute of Technology – in these and similar areas.

    Cassidy's point was all about states unlike, e.g., California; those which have a single flagship public university and not much else going on. My point is Illinois does not fit that bill.

    I don't count Notre Dame University as comparable to any of the schools you enumerated, nor to the leading three schools in Illinois; in the event, my main point was not that the University of Illinois is nonpareil, but rather to refute the suggestion that it is mediocre, or that Illinois lacked "other decent options" (I expect we can all agree Northwestern University and the University of Chicago are plenty decent...).

    Off Topic, But iSteve-ish:

    I keep seeing the adverts for this Telo-Years outfit (they claim to test one's telomeres from a sample of blood to gauge health and probable longevity).

    Am I the only one who finds that premise creepy for the same reasons Robert Heinlein did all those years ago? (Jack Vance's To Live Forever also comes to mind, albeit more obliquely....)

    One reason I spend entirely too much time here (besides Steve's own writing and analysis and my being bedridden) is that it's one of the only venues for intelligent discussion available to me, so I'm curious what Steve and the commentariat think about how advisable and desirable foreknowlege of one's own demise would be....

    I’m curious what Steve and the commentariat think about how advisable and desirable foreknowlege of one’s own demise would be

    For me I think it would depend on how likely it was I could do something about it.

    For the fortune teller case (magically and correctly predict the future without fail) I really don’t know. Knowing would help prioritize life goals (e.g. how long to stay in education, how many risks to take), but might also be soul crushing.

    For the telomere case (assuming it has some validity, I’m agnostic as to whether they can get a good estimate right now) it might be helpful to know if my current situation was better/worse than average. The latter might be encouragement to take measures to improve aging. One key decider for having a test done is how will my response differ for the different results? The telomere test fails that because I should probably just take the same anti-aging measures regardless of result.

    I think the most interesting case is also the most realistic–genetic testing. I’m in favor of knowing because I think there is a very real chance of specific knowledge giving ideas for specific things to do to help. For a simple personal example, I am heterozygous for hemochromatosis (interestingly to me, this SNP showed up in a study looking for genetic markers in endurance athletes). This means I’m prone to high iron (probably would be good if I were female, but…). This means it’s probably a good idea to get tested for that every now and then (e.g. pay attention to my hemoglobin level, serum iron, and ferritin). As a countermeasure, blood donation can help if the iron level gets too high (as can diet as a preventive). Zero impact in my life to date (besides a fairly high hematocrit which is nice for an athlete, that’s why people take EPO, but mine isn’t THAT high), but I think it’s good to know. Also see the alcoholism discussion elsewhere. That seems like an area ripe for genetic analysis.

    On the other hand finding out about something 100% penetrant and fatal might not be so fun. That’s closer to the soul crushing side of the fortune teller case.

  122. @Jack D
    Michigan is very good but more comparable to UCLA than Berkeley. Berkeley, as Piltdown Man says, is the clear #1 among public U's. Still it's a very good school and small differences in rankings are not that meaningful.

    Still it’s a very good school and small differences in rankings are not that meaningful.

    I think all of you in this conversation already know this, but I think it is worth making the point that at the level you are talking about specific programs and/or professors probably matter more than the overall university ranking.

    The big exception to that is looking for a name that’s impressive to the uninitiated. In that realm it can be helpful to just go to the name university for grad school if that is feasible.

  123. @Autochthon
    What so you and Jack D. reckon about the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor? Do you reckon it compares to the University of California at Berkeley? I seem to recall its more commonly being referred to as a "public Ivy."

    (Thanks for your kind words, Piltdown Man.)

    The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is in the first ranked cohort of state universities, Berkeley excepted. And unlike many of the Cal. schools these days, which are feeling the pinch of budget austerity imposed by California legislature, U. Mich. at Ann Arbor appears to be in pretty good shape.

    U. Mich is arguably the best school in the Midwest outside of the University of Chicago, though, obviously, you could make arguments in favor of the University of Indiana at Urbana Champaign or the University of Wisconsin at Madison depending on area of study, particular professors and graduate specializations. But that would be the usual sort of debate in these matters.

    IMHO.

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